Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Massachusetts, California Lead U.S. In Energy Efficiency

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's ranking of U.S. states based on energy efficiency. (Credit: ACEEE) Click to enlarge.
Massachusetts, California, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont are the most energy-efficient states in the U.S., according to an annual ranking released Wednesday by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, or ACEEE.

The least energy-efficient states are North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Mississippi and Alaska according to the ranking, which is based on each state’s energy efficiency policies for utilities, transportation policies, building codes, appliance efficiency standards and other factors.

The ACEEE, which receives funding from the U.S. government, utilities and other sources, issued a ranking in July of the most energy efficient of the world’s largest economies.  The U.S. ranked 13th on that list, far behind Germany, Italy and the European Union because the U.S. resists widespread public transportation and lacks a national energy savings plan and a national greenhouse gas reduction plan.

Energy efficiency, including building codes and power plant efficiency measures, is a major part of the Obama administration’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants — rules that are in the process of being finalized.

States are often far ahead of the federal government in taking measures to use energy more efficiently, ACEEE state program director Maggie Molina said Wednesday during a conference call.

The rankings account for each state’s electricity and natural gas efficiency program budgets, annual savings from efficiency programs, greenhouse gas emissions standards, electric vehicle registrations, transit funding and legislation, the strictness and enforcement of state building codes, use of combined heat and power, state financial incentives for energy efficiency and other factors.

Massachusetts has led the country in energy efficiency for four years in a row, mainly because the state has begun to save energy by setting annual electricity savings targets of up to 2.6 percent through 2015 and natural gas savings targets of up to 1.2 percent per year through 2015.

Massachusetts, California Lead U.S. In Energy Efficiency

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