Vermont, Connecticut and California Lead in Promoting Efficiency, 26 Other States Lag, Report Finds
By CP Editorial Staff - June 2007 - Energy Efficiency
Vermont, Connecticut and California lead the nation in energy efficiency policy, according to a new report that ranks the states on efficiency policies.
Vermont, Connecticut and California tied for first in the report, The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2006. Rounding out the top ten are Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, New York, and New Jersey in spots four through eight, respectively, and Rhode Island and Minnesota tying for ninth.
“The top-ten states earn the highest scores due to their records of spending on energy efficiency programs, building codes and appliances standards, and other programs that work to increase investment in energy efficiency,” says Eldridge. “The next fifteen states that trail behind the top ten all have policies to increase efficiency in state-owned facilities, and most are committing funds to energy efficiency programs plus adopting codes and standards. The bottom twenty-six states, however, seriously lag behind the rest."
Past versions of the ACEEE Scorecard have ranked states on utility-sector energy efficiency spending; however, this report is a new and expanded effort to rank states on a broad array of policy initiatives, including appliance and equipment standards, building energy codes, transportation and land use policies, and other policy innovations that are increasing U.S. energy security while sustaining economic prosperity and protecting the environment.
“This report puts the spotlight on the best and least performing states, but it also highlights the critical need for sweeping federal action to apply best energy efficiency practices and policies nationwide,” Prindle says. “Only until federal, state and local governments join forces to put their collective arms around this enormous problem will we see uniform progress.”
Coordinated effort is needed regarding fuel economy standards for vehicles, energy efficiency resource standards for utilities, appliance efficiency standards, building energy codes, combined heat and power (CHP) technologies, smart growth and public transportation policies, tax incentives for efficient technologies and energy efficiency in public buildings and fleets, according to ACEEE.
“Congress is considering provisions on all of these fronts,” Prindle says. “The message that comes from the states’ patchwork approach to energy efficiency standards and practices is that the time is long overdue for the federal government and the nation to get moving to close the gaps in our nation’s energy policy through which our energy security and our efforts to curb global warming are undermined.”