Energy efficiency measures are thriving in state capitals around the United States, with several states–including Mississippi, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia–taking major steps that moved them up the ranks in the seventh annual edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland and Illinois. Massachusetts retains the top spot for the third year in a row based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act. In California, requirements for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have led it to identify several strategies for smart growth, keeping the state in a top position at #2. Connecticut is also closing the gap due to passage of a major energy bill in 2013, and Illinois is making its first appearance in the top 10 this year, reaping the benefits of increased energy savings called for in the state’s energy efficiency resource standard.
According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year, Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were: Maine, Kansas and Ohio.
* Connecticut passed a major energy bill in June 2013, calling for the benchmarking of state buildings, expanding combined heat and power programs, and doubling funding for energy efficiency programs.
* The leading states in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies are Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island. All three of these states have long records of success and continue to raise the bar on the delivery of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and policies.
* The leading states in building energy codes and compliance are California, Washington and Rhode Island. During the past year, seven states adopted the latest iteration of building energy codes.
Get the Scorecard here.