In 2009, energy efficiency has risen to a new level of recognition in the U.S. We present here our third annual comprehensive state energy efficiency scorecard to document best practices and recognize leadership among the states. The Scorecard examines six energy efficiency policy areas: (1) utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies; (2) transportation policies; (3) building energy codes; (4) combined heat and power; (5) state government initiatives; and (6) appliance efficiency standards. States can earn up to 50 points in these categories.
The “top ten” states in this year’s Scorecard are: California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Maine. Overall, states have shown improvement since last year, with an average score of 17 points up from 15 points last year. The “most improved” states, which climbed at least eight spots from last year’s rankings, include Maine, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, South Dakota, and Tennessee. In addition to the significant strides we have seen from the states that are reflected in this year’s rankings, there are also major recent developments in several states that will boost energy efficiency commitments in the near future. These increased efforts will be captured in next year’s and future years’ editions of the Scorecard.
In an era of heightened awareness of energy efficiency as our Nation’s cheapest and cleanest energy resources, the Scorecard can serve as a means of benchmarking state efforts with the goals of encouraging states to continue to raise the bar in efficiency commitments and providing a roadmap for states that want to catch up to the leaders.