Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Regulation, Utilities  -  September 29, 2017

Massachusetts tops energy efficieny rankings

Massachusetts has nabbed the top spot on an annual ranking of states on energy efficiency, breaking its tie with California, which slipped to second place, compared to the year prior. 

Idaho, Florida, and Virginia are the three most-improved states in the report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, released Sept. 28. As national leaders, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Oregon round out the top five in the ACEEE's "State Energy Efficiency 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,  ACEEE said in announcing the report. Idaho advanced seven spots, from 33rd to 26th place. The balance of the 10 most-improved states were Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, Nevada, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Kentucky. 

Notably, storm-hit states Florida and Texas rose in the rankings. 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, which rose three spots on the Scorecard to rank 22nd) and Texas (improving to 26th), can continue to place greater emphasis on energy efficiency policy and implementation as they rebuild in the wake of the recent hurricanes, according to the ACEEE. 

"States hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will need to rebuild, and energy efficiency can help them do so smartly, including improved building codes and promotion of combined heat and power," Steven Nadel, executive director of ACEEE said. "By pursuing energy efficiency policies, states can save residents and businesses billions in the long term. There is a lot of overall movement in the 2017 Scorecard. Some states that have gone for years without much change have made incredible strides."

Among a number of other key findings, ACEEE said California continued to lead in efficient buildings policies, with its latest building energy code updates taking effect in January 2017 and moving the state closer to its goal of achieving net zero energy use for all new residential buildings by 2020 and commercial buildings by 2030. Other leaders include the District of Columbia, New York and Washington, all of which have adopted the latest model codes and enforce mandatory building energy benchmarking and transparency policies for the commercial or residential building sector.

Keywords: ACEEE

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