ACEEE 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

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Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 8:00 pm | Updated: 8:04 pm, Tue Oct 9, 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the U.S. government loosens environmental rules, states are investing more in energy efficiency and delivering increased power savings, according to the 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. This 12th annual report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy identifies the leaders, the most-improved states, notably New Jersey, the states that lost ground such as Iowa, and those lagging behind, including North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The scorecard offers mostly good news about energy efficiency, the nation’s third-largest electricity resource. In response to federal efforts to freeze US vehicle and appliance standards, quite a few states worked to retain their own standards and to promote electric vehicles as well as zero-energy buildings. While some, like Iowa and Connecticut, saw legislative attacks within their states, others, including Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Arkansas, unveiled plans to boost investments in efficiency and clean energy, often driven by concerns about climate change.

The scorecard, which ranks states on 32 metrics in six areas, finds:

  • New Jersey improved the most, moving up five ranks to number 18. The Garden State set new annual energy savings targets and took steps to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap and trade emissions compact. Missouri, Connecticut, Colorado and South Dakota showed marked improvement.
  • Massachusetts continued to rank number 1 overall. It launched a plan to set new three-year energy savings targets and approved utility spending for grid-scale modernization. A close second is California, followed by Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland.
  • Iowa fell the most, moving down five spots to number 24. This drop was due mostly to a bill signed earlier this year that imposes a restrictive cap on efficiency programs and allows customers to opt out of paying for some of them. Sixteen other states fell in the rankings.
  • States increased investments in energy efficiency in the utility sector. They spent nearly $8.0 billion last year, up from $7.6 billion in 2016. The result was a 7.3 percent increase in electricity savings, nearly 26.5 million MWh, enough to power about 2.5 million U.S. homes per year.
  • States ramped up efforts to promote zero-emission vehicles, mostly electric, as the federal government sought to freeze fuel economy standards for cars and SUVs. California joined with eight other states in rolling out an updated ZEV plan, which incentivizes consumers to buy ZEVs.
  • More states pushed for zero-energy construction largely through tougher building codes. California, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts have incorporated net zero-energy construction into long-range plans.

SOURCE: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

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