The "state" of Energy Efficiency
Conversations about energy use in the U.S. often revolve around expanding domestic production or spurring renewables. It's easy to forget another significant piece of the puzzle — energy efficiency. In its 2013 scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the most energy-efficient states based on policy and program efforts that improve efficiency in homes, businesses, industries and transportation systems.
The annual scorecard includes programs and initiatives maintained in ACEEE's database of state energy efficiency policy, which includes information from state offices, public utilities, nonprofit advocacy organizations, energy consultants, federal officials and the private sector. Read on to see how your state fared in 2013.
In the rankings, ACEEE examined six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency and assigned points based on performance. The criteria used in the rankings (shown with their respective weights) include: Utility and public benefits programs and policies (40 percent), Transportation policies (18 percent), Building energy codes and state government initiatives (14 percent each), combine heat and power (10 percent) and Equipment efficiency standards (4 percent).
Based on that criterion, the results show the following 10 states as the most efficient in 2013 with the number of points earned (out of a possible 50):
3.New York (38)
6.Rhode Island (35.5)
Massachusetts retained the top spot in the rankings for the third year in a row, after overtaking California in 2011. New York and Oregon also maintained their positions on the list, although Connecticut is closing the gap after passing a major energy bill earlier this year. This is the first year that Illinois has broken into the top 10.
The bottom 10 states in 2013 were (starting with the lowest ranked):
1.North Dakota (3.5)
3.South Dakota (8)
6.West Virginia (9)
Read more at ENN affiliate Triple Pundit.