18 State-Led Energy Efficiency Programs Recognized As Best In U.S.

September 15, 2010

ACEEE Announces Five Top Energy-Efficiency Award Winning Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, and New York

Press Conference Audio Available (from event organized by The Hastings Group).

Washington, D.C. —  The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today announced the first-ever awards initiative for exceptional state-led energy efficiency programs. A total of 18 top programs from 14 states are being recognized by ACEEE.

The top five award winning programs are: 

  1. Colorado Governor's Energy Office: Colorado ENERGY STAR New Homes Program

  2. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority: Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Demonstration Program

  3. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority: Wastewater Efficiency Program:

  4. Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism: Lead by Example Program

  5. Maryland Energy Administration: Maryland Statewide Farm Energy Audit Program

The panel also selected 10 programs for honorable mentions, and three "emerging" programs. (See full list below.)

For the "States Stepping Forward: Best Practices for State-Led Energy Efficiency Programs" awards, ACEEE accepted nominations from programs administered by state institutions and an expert panel then examined the field of nominations. The five winners come from different regions of the country and represent exemplary models for energy efficiency program implementation. The programs reach broadly across the economy including residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, agricultural, and transportation sectors.

David Terry, Executive Director, National Association of State Energy Offices, said: "Energy efficiency efforts are thriving at the state level in ways that most people may not be aware of today. The program winners demonstrate how state governments can implement successful, cost-effective energy efficiency programs aimed at a variety of customer types. Rather than creating unnecessary competition, these programs complement and expand upon the existing energy efficiency program landscape offered by utilities and third-party program administrators."

Michael Sciortino, lead author of the national report at ACEEE, stated: "As new funding sources become available to states through the Recovery Act, regional cap-and-trade initiatives, and other state and federal sources, state governments are stepping forward to take on important responsibilities implementing energy efficiency programs. Our report highlights programs recently developed with these new sources of funding as well as many well-established programs that have been saving energy costs for consumers for decades." 

ACEEE Executive Director Steve Nadel added: "This review of state-led energy efficiency programs offers further evidence that cost-effective investments in energy-saving technologies and services improve economic competitiveness. Simply put, energy efficiency works. These state programs benefit customers in numerous ways, generating significant energy savings, training thousands of professionals, lowering energy costs, and reducing the negative environmental impacts of energy use. Many featured programs demonstrate collaboration between public and private stakeholders, serving as models for effectively coordinated and highly-leveraged programs that can last for years to come."

In addition to the top five recognized programs, ACEEE also drew attention to the following state-level initiatives:


  1. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation: Home Energy Rebate Program

  2. Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management: Connecticut Home Energy Solutions Joint Program

  3. Louisiana Department of Natural Resources: Home Energy Rebate Option

  4. Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: Farm Energy Program

  5. Minnesota Department of Administration and the Department of Commerce: Minnesota Portfolio of Sustainable Public Building Programs

  6. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: Retired Engineers Technical Assistance Program

  7. New York State Research and Development Authority: New York State Energy $martSM Commercial Lighting Program

  8. South Carolina Energy Office and the South Carolina Department of Revenue: South Carolina Manufactured Housing Tax Credit

  9. The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources: Texas Industries of the Future

  10. Washington State University Extension Energy Program: WSU Energy Services Industrial Program


  1. California Air Resources Board and CALSTART: California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)

  2. Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development: Chapter 40R / Smart Growth Zoning Overlay Districts

  3. New Jersey Clean Energy Program: New Jersey Pay for Performance

To read the full ACEEE report and to review the complete listing of the state energy efficiency programs in all three award categories, visit: http://www.aceee.org/research-report/e106.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. 2010 marks ACEEE’s 30th anniversary as an organization.