Massachusetts edged out California as the most energy-efficient state for the fourth year in a row, according to the eighth annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
This year’s report featured several familiar names among the highest ranks, but also contained a handful of surprise findings, including:
- Rhode Island entered the top five for the first time ever in a tie for third with Oregon and Vermont.
- The four most improved states are Arkansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. Arkansas pursued strong utility programs and increased its budget for energy efficiency programs by 30% between 2012 and 2013. Electricity savings more than tripled. Kentucky updated its building energy code.
- In 2014, 23 states fell in the efficiency rankings. Indiana dropped the furthest distance (13 spots), partially due to state legislators eliminating the state’s long-term energy goals. Ohio decision-makers made a similar decision and weakened the state’s energy efficiency standard, pushing it seven spots down the list.
- California dominated all states in building energy codes and compliance. The District of Columbia and 11 states have adopted the most recent building energy standards.
- U.S. territories were included in the scorecard for the first time. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands have adopted building energy codes for new construction, but have not made significant efficiency investments in other areas.
The scorecard benchmarked all states, territories, and districts across six areas encompassing more than 30 metrics: utility programs, transportation initiatives, building energy codes, combined heat and power development, initiatives led by the state government, and state-level standards for appliances.