A report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) yesterday put California at the top of the list of U.S. states employing energy efficiency as the “first fuel”. Idaho was rated as the “most improved” state since ACEEE’s first state scorecard report graded state action through 2006.
The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rated and ranked state-level action on model energy efficiency policies, programs, and practices. In 2007, ACEEE released its first State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2006 to provide a comprehensive approach to scoring and ranking states on the adoption and implementation of energy efficiency policies and programs. Authors of the 2008 Scorecard are Maggie Eldridge, Max Neubauer, Dan York, Shruti Vaidyanathan, Anna Chittum, and Steven Nadel.
“The top ranked states are demonstrating great leadership in promoting energy independence with cost-effective energy efficiency investments,” said Eldridge, research associate at ACEEE and lead author of the report. “By setting innovative policies and programs that help consumers save energy, states are using energy efficiency as the first line of defense against rising energy prices while increasing our nation’s energy security, fostering economic prosperity, and combating global warming.”
ACEEE’s state-by-state analysis found that California was followed by Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Washington. Minnesota and Massachusetts tied for 7th place. Wisconsin and New Jersey rounded out the final two spots in the top 10.
“We applaud these leading states for embracing a wide range of the proven-effective and readily-available efficiency strategies that will most quickly move our nation closer to energy independence to the benefit of our economy, environment, and national security,” said Eldridge. “”Our scorecard puts the spotlight on the leading and most improved states to encourage others to step up their efforts to make energy efficiency the routine way of doing business and part of our everyday lives.”
The most improved states since the 2006 scorecard was issued were Idaho (from 25th ranked to 13th ranked), Florida (from 29th to 19th tied), Maryland (from 20th to 12th), Ohio (from 27th to 19th tied), Illinois (from 26th to 19th tied), Louisiana (from 42nd to 35th), Arkansas (from 45th to 38th), and Virginia (from 38th to 32nd).
“These states have stepped up efforts in various important ways, such as setting aggressive new energy savings targets, ramping up funding for programs, or improving efficiency of the state’s own public buildings and vehicle fleets,” said Neubauer, policy program research assistant and co-author of the report.
The 2008 report is ACEEE’s latest edition in a periodic analysis of state-by-state ranking on the adoption and implementation of energy efficiency policies, which aims to recognize leadership among the states and identify best practices. The report ranks states on a broad array of energy efficiency policy initiatives, including:
- Utility-sector and public benefits efficiency programs and policies
- Transportation and land use policies
- Building energy codes
- Combined heat and power (CHP)
- Appliance efficiency standards
- Energy efficiency in public buildings and fleets
- Research, development, and deployment (RD&D)
- Financial incentives for efficient technologies
“Faced with rapidly increasing energy costs and growing concerns about power reliability and global warming, more and more states are turning to energy efficiency as a reliable, cost-effective, and quick resource to deploy to meet electricity needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save consumers’ money,” said executive director Nadel, report co-author. “Our scorecard offers the states a blueprint for greening up both the environment and the economy, and it is becoming evident that more and more policymakers are realizing that it is not only the socially responsible thing to do, but it is also fiscally prudent.”
The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard 54-page report is available for free download at www.aceee.org/pubs/e086.htm (registration required). Or a hard copy is available for purchase.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. Projects are carried out by staff and selected energy efficiency experts from universities, national laboratories, and the private sector.