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The 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard: What Has Changed, What Has Stayed the Same

September 26, 2012 - 11:41am

Every year, we take a wide-ranging look at energy efficiency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in our report, the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The State Scorecard benchmarks the states according to the policies and programs that encourage the efficient use of energy in the utility, buildings, industry, transportation, and public sectors. The report aims to capture the diversity of efforts related to energy efficiency happening at the state level and to encourage friendly competition among the states to craft innovative policies and programs that deliver the economic, environmental, and energy security benefits of efficiency.

The 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard will be released on October 3, 2012. We also review our methodology and data sources annually to see if we can better reflect the diverse efforts that states are making to become more energy efficient (last year before the release of the State Scorecard we blogged about how we develop the scores and what makes a state energy efficient). In 2012,we made changes to our scoring—some slight, some significant—in four categories: combined heat and power; savings from customer-funded electricefficiency programs; building energy code stringency; and transportation.  Here’s a summary of the changes; more details will be available in the 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

  • Combined heat and power: by changing the weighting of points among some metrics and eliminating scoring for others, our updated methodology better reflects the economic barriers and realities that developers of combined heat and power systems face. Changes to the CHP methodology are detailed in an ACEEE white paper.
  • Savings from customer-funded electric efficiency programs: states report electricity savings from customer-funded efficiency programs (e.g., home retrofit programs sponsored by a local utility) in different ways. We adjusted reported savings in some states to make savings in all states more comparable.
  • Building energy code stringency: statewide energy codes must meet or exceed the most recent and most stringent version of the International Energy Conservation Code, the 2012 IECC, to receive full points for building energy code stringency. We update our scoring on building energy codes whenever there is a new codes cycle.
  • Transportation: we added a new metric—transit legislation—in the transportation category for 2012 and assigned fewer points to subsidies for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and to policies that encourage “complete streets.”

States are the proving ground for innovative policies and programs designed to advance energy efficiency, and our scoring changes in the 2012 State Scorecard reflect these innovations. So, which state will take the top spot this year? Which states have most improved their policies and programs for energy efficiency over the past year? Tune in on October 3rd to find out