The scorecard, in its fifth edition, ranks states based on their policies and programs for energy efficiency in the commercial, industrial, residential and transportation sectors.
It shows that after California – knocked from the leader’s spot for the first time – the most energy efficient states are New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Connecticut and Maryland.
The worst-performing states are North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma, while the most improved states are Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee.
ACCEE found that states are using energy efficiency as a key strategy to generate cost savings, promote technological innovation and stimulate growth. It said that states’ budgets for electricity efficiency programs totalled $4.5 billion in 2010, up from $3.4 billion in 2009. When combined with natural gas program budgets, total energy efficiency budgets in 2010 were about $5.5 billion, ACEE said.
It predicted that increasing regulatory commitments would drive this growth to continue over the next decade.
According to the scorecard, 29 states have either adopted or made “significant progress” towards adopting updated, energy-saving building codes for commercial and residential buildings. Meanwhile 24 states have adopted Energy Efficiency Resource Standards to encourage utility investments in energy efficiency programs.
States that adopted such policies in 2007 and 2008 are now realizing significant energy savings and moving up in the scorecard rankings, ACEE said.
The scorecard said states are also implementing policies that reduce barriers to adoption of combined heat and power systems, although much more potential for their adoption remains. And it said that while some states have introduced policies to promote energy-efficient vehicles, most have few or no policies to encourage efficiency in the transportation sector.