In 2010, states are again demonstrating their growing interest in energy efficiency as a means to bolster the economy, improve energy stability, and drive technology innovation. Governors, state legislators and officials, and citizens increasingly recognize energy efficiency—the kilowatt-hours and gallons of gasoline that we don’t use thanks to improved technologies and practices—as the cheapest, cleanest, and quickest energy resource to deploy. While the national economy slowly recovers from a recession, Congress continues to move at a glacial pace on major energy and climate legislation, which numerous studies have shown could help to stimulate the economy. Other major national issues have also forced energy and climate into the back seat. In the face of federal inaction, states are adopting aggressive and innovative policies to encourage investments in energy efficiency. As they have over the past few decades, states will continue to guide our nation’s direction toward a clean energy future to help save consumers money, boost local economies by creating jobs, and improve the environment.
In this fourth edition of ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, we present a comprehensive state energy efficiency policy Scorecard to document best practices, recognize leadership among the states, and provide a roadmap for other states to follow. This Scorecard can serve as a means of benchmarking state efforts on energy efficiency policies and programs with the goal of encouraging states to continue to raise the bar in their efficiency commitments. While several states have been pursuing energy efficiency for decades and are leading the way, several new leaders are quickly emerging by adopting and implementing innovative new efficiency policies. Still, many states can accomplish much more to encourage energy efficiency and cannot afford to be left behind.