Lisa Markowski, ERS, for Zondits
It’s a tie no more, as Massachusetts has edged California to claim the sole number-one position atop the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The council determines the rankings by evaluating states’ energy efficiency programs, policies, and practices across six categories. As an ongoing effort, ACEEE makes policy-strengthening recommendations to individual states while also informing them about opportunities for economic and environmental improvement.
Idaho was the most-improved state (from #33 in 2016 to #26 this year), and Virginia and Florida also made significant strides. There are two significant reasons for the Sunshine State’s surge. One is its new Farm Renewable and Efficiency Demonstration Program, which provides free energy audits and grants of up to 80% reimbursement for agricultural operations to implement efficiency measures, and the other is its efficiency-enhanced building code that will soon go into effect. These new policies will be especially important as Floridians rebuild after damage from the recent hurricanes. Texas (ranked #26), which was hit even harder by 2017’s storms, also improved its scorecard ranking this year and can look to Florida as an example for further advancement.
Not surprisingly, the winning state’s capital took the top spot in the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ACEEE releases every other year. Following Boston in descending order are New York City, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Austin, Chicago, Washington, DC, Denver, and San Francisco.
ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: ID, FL, VA Three Most-Improved States, MA Still #1
ACEEE, September 28, 2017
As more states struggle with extreme weather events, the 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard gives state-level policymakers a road map for building stronger and more-resilient communities. This 11th annual report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), released today, shows which states are doing the best on energy efficiency — a critical tool for withstanding and recovering from storms and economic shocks. To download the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard online, go to http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.
Idaho, Florida, and Virginia are the three most-improved states in the newly released report. Massachusetts broke its 2016 tie with California by holding on to the No. 1 ranking, while the Golden State slipped to No. 2. As national leaders, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Oregon round out the top five in the ACEEE Scorecard. Idaho posted the most gains by far in 2017, surging past a number of mid-ranked states in ACEEE’s comparative index of efficiency policies, best practices, and other metrics. Idaho advanced seven spots, from 33rd to 26th place. The balance of the 10 most-improved states are Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, Nevada, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and Kentucky. While they show promise, all states can improve.
Storm-hit Florida and Texas rose in the rankings. Florida is among the top 10 most-improved states for energy efficiency. In late 2016 the state began its new Farm Renewable and Efficiency Demonstration (FRED) Program, which provides free energy evaluations to farmers and grant reimbursements for proposed efficiency measures. In addition, Florida is preparing to implement a stronger state building code with a major emphasis on energy efficiency. Both Florida (jumping three spots on the Scorecard to rank #22) and Texas (improving to #26) can continue to place greater emphasis on energy efficiency policy and implementation as they rebuild in the wake of the recent hurricanes.