ACEEE "Rates the States": The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

  Top Ten States  1. California  2. Oregon  3. Connecticut  4. Vermont  5. New York  6. Washington  7. Massachusetts (tie)  7.   Minnesota (tie)  9. Wisconsin  10.  New Jersey    In October, ACEEE released The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the second annual edition of the state-by-state rankings on energy efficiency programs and policies. Issued at a time of skyrocketing energy prices and concerns about energy reliability, this year’s report was met by enthusiasm from states around the country that want to know how their state stacks up against the rest. This year California earned the number one ranking (the state also tied for 1st last year) and Idaho was the “most improved” from last year’s rankings. Read the press release.

Also for the second year running, ACEEE released the report via press conference and live webcast, which was broadcast from the National Press Club, located just a few floors up from our new office in the National Press Building. ACEEE was pleased to have a panel of state and national energy efficiency experts join ACEEE report authors Maggie Eldridge and Steve Nadel at the press event, including: Kathleen Hogan (USEPA), Gil Sperling (USDOE), Malcolm Woolf (Maryland Energy Administration), and Jeff Genzer (National Association of State Energy Offices). Panelists discussed the role and importance of states as the “laboratories” of energy efficiency, but also juxtaposed this state leadership against an urgent need for action at the federal level.

The Scorecard rates the states on eight energy efficiency program and policy criteria, including: utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies; transportation polices; building energy codes; combined heat and power; appliance efficiency standards; state facilities and fleets; research, development, and deployment; and financial and information incentives. States can earn up to 50 possible points in these eight policy areas combined, with the maximum possible points in each area weighted by the magnitude of its potential impact on energy savings. The report criteria was expanded from last year’s report, and ACEEE plans to update the report on an annual basis, continuing to refine and expand the criteria to more accurately reflect state energy policy activities.

In addition to Idaho (which moved from 25th ranked to 13th ranked), other notable “most improved” states were Florida (from 29th to 19th tied), Maryland (from 20th to 12th), and Ohio (from 27th to 19th tied). While the leading states have been making commitments toward energy efficiency for decades, other states are just getting started, and still others fall far behind. The scorecard serves as a means of benchmarking state efforts, with the goal 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.