Washington, D.C. — California tops the list of U.S. states employing energy efficiency as the "first fuel" to grow their economies while meeting electricity demand, combating global warming, and contributing to U.S. energy security, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rated and ranked state-level action on model energy efficiency policies, programs, and practices. With California claiming the number one ranking, Idaho rated as the "most improved" state since ACEEE’s first state scorecard report graded state action through 2006.
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"The top ranked states are demonstrating great leadership in promoting energy independence with cost-effective energy efficiency investments," said Maggie Eldridge, Research Associate at ACEEE and lead author of the report. "By setting innovative policies and programs that help consumers save energy, states are using energy efficiency as the first line of defense against rising energy prices while increasing our nation’s energy security, fostering economic prosperity, and combating global warming."
ACEEE’s state-by-state analysis found that first-place California was followed by Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Washington. Minnesota and Massachusetts tie for seventh place with Wisconsin and New Jersey rounding out the final two spots in the top ten.
"We applaud these leading states for embracing a wide range of the proven-effective and readily-available efficiency strategies that will most quickly move our nation closer to energy independence to the benefit of our economy, environment, and national security," said Eldridge. ""Our scorecard puts the spotlight on the leading and most improved states to encourage others to step up their efforts to make energy efficiency the routine way of doing business and part of our everyday lives."
The most improved states since the 2006 scorecard was issued were Idaho (from 25th ranked to 13th ranked), Florida (from 29th to 19th tied), Maryland (from 20th to 12th), Ohio (from 27th to 19th tied), Illinois (from 26th to 19th tied), Louisiana (from 42nd to 35th), Arkansas (from 45th to 38th), and Virginia (from 38th to 32nd). See http://aceee.org/press/e075pr.htm.
"These states have stepped up efforts in various important ways, such as setting aggressive new energy savings targets, ramping up funding for programs, or improving efficiency of the state’s own public buildings and vehicle fleets," said Max Neubauer, Policy Program Research Assistant and co-author of the report.
The 2008 report is ACEEE’s latest edition in a periodic analysis of state-by-state ranking on the adoption and implementation of energy efficiency policies, which aims to recognize leadership among the states and identify best practices. The report ranks states on a broad array of energy efficiency policy initiatives, including:
"Faced with rapidly increasing energy costs and growing concerns about power reliability and global warming, more and more states are turning to energy efficiency as a reliable, cost-effective, and quick resource to deploy to meet electricity needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save consumers’ money," said Executive Director Steven Nadel, report co-author. "Our scorecard offers the states a blueprint for greening up both the environment and the economy, and it is becoming evident that more and more policymakers are realizing that it is not only the socially responsible thing to do, but it is also fiscally prudent."
The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report is available for free download at www.aceee.org/pubs/e086.htm or a hard copy can be purchased for $30 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248, e-mail: email@example.com.
For more information about energy efficiency initiatives at the state level, here are other ACEEE resources and reports:
State Energy Efficiency Policy Database on the Web (http://www.aceee.org/energy/state/index.htm): Complementing the Scorecard, the site serves as another resource for information on state energy efficiency policies. The online database is searchable by state or by policy, and documents state activities in most of the energy efficiency policy areas covered in the scorecard. Today we have launched an update to the Web site to include state information on climate change and smart growth policies as well as expanded sections on state utility and combined heat and power system policies.