The 2017 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) State Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks how well each of the US states is doing in terms of energy-efficiency. Each state is scored on multiple criteria, including utilities, building codes, transportation, appliance standards, state-led initiatives, and combined heat and power. According to the ACEEE, the 10 most energy-efficient states in the US are:
7. New York
7. Washington (tied with New York)
3. Rhode Island
The actions taken by these ten states offer roadmaps for states looking to increase their own energy efficiency. Energy efficient states are better prepared for crises such as severe weather and economic downturns, and recover from the aftermaths of such events faster. So what are the 10 most energy efficient states in the US doing to earn their rankings?
Massachusetts increased electricity savings to a nation-leading three percent in 2016, while encouraging investments in efficiency through incentive and finance programs. The state has ranked number 1 in the 10 most energy efficient states in the US for the last seven years.
California’s ambitious goal to double energy savings by 2030 helped earn the state second place, as did its strategies for developing more energy efficient transportation policies and a continuing focus on research.
Rhode Island has moved from the fourth to third spot on the scorecard this year, in part due to the state’s ambitious Least Cost Procurement Program.
Vermont continues to secure its place in the 10 most energy efficient states in the US thanks in part to its status as the first state to implement a statewide energy efficiency utility program.
Oregon made the most gains on the scorecard for this year, jumping from seventh to fifth place. The Energy Trust of Oregon helps businesses and homeowners achieve energy savings, and both electrical and gas savings are up from 2015.
Connecticut fell a position in the rankings this year, although it earned the same score for both years. High on the list of incentives in the state are Energize Connecticut and the CT Energy Efficiency Fund, both of which have helped the state maintain nation-leading levels of investment in energy savings.
Washington jumped a spot on the scorecard this year. The state plans to reduce vehicle miles traveled per capita by 50 percent in 2050 from 1990. Washington’s building energy efficiently policies also scored high.
New York tied with Washington for seventh/eighth place. The state was the first to pass a residential energy use disclosure requirement, and has a commitment to energy-efficient public buildings.
Minnesota’s commitment to grid modernization and integrated systems planning continues to increase energy savings, while the state is investing in programs to increase efficiency across multiple sectors.
Maryland rounds out the 10 most energy efficient states in the US, with a target of seeing utility energy costs drop by two percent a year by 2020.