The current economic downturn is not derailing state-level efforts to improve their energy efficiency in areas such as buildings, industry and transportation systems, according to a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The top ten states in ACEEE’s 50-state scorecard, based on energy-efficiency policies, programs, and practices, are California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Maine.
These states are leading the way in adopting aggressive energy-efficiency policies, increasing investments in efficiency programs, and improving efficiency in their own facilities and fleets, according to the report.
Those states with the most room for improvement include Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, Alaska, West Virginia, Nebraska, Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
The 2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks states in six categories: utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies, transportation policies, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government initiatives, and appliance efficiency standards.
States can earn up to 50 points across these six categories. Overall, states have shown improvement since last year, with an average score of 17 points up from 15 points last year, according to the report.
The report finds that several states have improved their rankings from 2008 to 2009 including: Maine (up from 19 to 10) Colorado (up from 24 to 16), Delaware (up from 32 to 20), District of Columbia (up from 30 to a tie for 20), South Dakota (up from 47 to 36) and Tennessee (up from 46 to 38).
Contributing to their improvements include the adoption of new building energy codes and setting more aggressive energy savings targets, according to ACEEE. Click here for more information about energy-efficiency initiatives state-by-state.