ACEEE State Scorecard: MA Best in Energy Efficiency
The 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard puts Massachusetts at the top of the list for the second consecutive year, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
States continue to move strongly in 2012 to advance energy efficiency initiatives regardless of which political party is in control of state legislatures and governors' offices, according to the report.
"Energy efficiency is being embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike at the state level," said Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE. "That nonpartisan status is crucial because too many conversations about U.S. energy policy begin with the false premise that the only way to safeguard our reliable energy future is to expand our supply."
The ACEEE State Scorecard shows that the top 10 energy efficiency states are Massachusetts (in its second year atop the rankings), California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota.
The three most improved states are Oklahoma, Montana, and South Carolina. All three states significantly increased their budgets for electric efficiency programs in 2011. Oklahoma put in place natural gas efficiency programs for the first time in 2011, and Montana dramatically increased its budgets for these programs.
"Energy inefficiency wastes natural resources and tax dollars that could otherwise be used for essential services like education, transportation, and public safety." said Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. "With innovative efficiency and conservation policies, Oklahoma is leading the way on energy conservation."
Gov. Fallin said her goal is to make government smaller, smarter, and more efficient. She credits efficiency programs by state utilities, tax incentives for more energy-efficient construction and the state's goal of achieving 20 percent energy savings by 2020 with improving the state's ACEEE score.
Other states making significant progress this year include Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, all of which increased budgets for energy efficiency under their statewide energy savings goals.
"Energy efficiency improvements help businesses, governments, and consumers meet their needs by using less energy, saving them money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating much-needed jobs, and reducing environmental impacts," Nadel said.
The 10 states most in need of improvement (starting with last) are Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Nebraska.