California is the leading state in energy efficiency, for the fourth year in a row, followed closely by Massachusetts, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report, which ranks all 50 states and D.C. on how energy efficient they are.
States that made the biggest efforts in energy efficiency over the past year include Arizona (moving up 11 spots to No. 18), Utah (up 11 positions to No. 12) and New Mexico (up eight ranks to No. 22).
A key finding of the ACEEE Scorecard includes almost double the level of spending for energy efficiency from 2007 levels, increasing from $2.5 billion to $4.3 billion. Reported electricity savings from energy efficiency programs across all states increased 8 percent between 2007 and 2008 (the most recent available data), according to ACEEE.
Other findings include the adoption or active consideration by 27 states for Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) that establish long-term, fixed efficiency savings targets, and a one-year doubling in the number of states (20) that have either adopted or have made significant progress toward the adoption of the latest energy-saving building codes for homes and commercial properties.
Here’s an ACEEE synopsis on the state-by-state rankings:
The four most-improved states — Utah (tied for No. 12, up 11 spots from 2009), Arizona (No. 18, up 11 spots), New Mexico (No. 22, up eight spots), and Alaska (No. 37, up eight spots) — rose at least eight spots since the 2009 scorecard. In general, the Southwest region demonstrated considerable progress from 2009 to 2010, says ACEEE.
In addition to California, here’s how the balance of the top 10 states performed: Massachusetts (No. 2, holding steady) , Oregon (No. 3, up from No. 4), New York (No. 4, up from No. 5), Vermont (No. 5, up from No. 6), Washington (No. 6, up from No. 7), Rhode Island (No. 7, up from No. 9), Connecticut (tied for No. 8, down from No. 3), Minnesota (tied for No. 8, holding steady), and Maine (No. 10, holding steady).
The 10 states with the most room for improvement (which includes the District of Columbia) are: Louisiana (No. 42, down one spot), Missouri (tied for No. 43, down two spots), Oklahoma (tied for No. 43, down four spots), West Virginia (tied for No. 43, up two spots), Kansas (No. 46, down seven spots), Nebraska (No. 47, holding steady), Wyoming (No. 48, up three spots), Alabama (No. 49, down one spot), Mississippi (No. 50, down one spot), and North Dakota (No. 51, down two spots).
ACEEE says the more than $11 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that went directly to state energy efficiency has helped stimulate significant progress in funding and creating new energy-saving programs.