News

ACEEE "Rates the States" on Employing Efficiency as the First Fuel

October 6, 2008

Washington, D.C. - California tops the list of U.S. states employing energy efficiency as
the "first fuel" to grow their economies while meeting electricity demand,
combating global warming, and contributing to U.S. energy security,
according to a new report released today by the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). 

The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rated and ranked state-level action on model energy efficiency policies, programs, and practices. With California claiming the number one ranking,
Idaho rated as the "most improved" state since ACEEE's first state scorecard
report graded state action through 2006.

     "The top ranked states are demonstrating great leadership in promoting
energy independence with cost-effective energy efficiency investments," said
Maggie Eldridge, Research Associate at ACEEE and lead author of the report.
"By setting innovative policies and programs that help consumers save
energy, states are using energy efficiency as the first line of defense
against rising energy prices while increasing our nation's energy security,
fostering economic prosperity, and combating global warming."

     ACEEE's state-by-state analysis found that first-place California was
followed by Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Washington.
Minnesota and Massachusetts tie for seventh place with Wisconsin and New
Jersey rounding out the final two spots in the top ten.

     "We applaud these leading states for embracing a wide range of the
proven-effective and readily-available efficiency strategies that will most
quickly move our nation closer to energy independence to the benefit of our
economy, environment, and national security," said Eldridge. ""Our scorecard
puts the spotlight on the leading and most improved states to encourage
others to step up their efforts to make energy efficiency the routine way of
doing business and part of our everyday lives."

     The most improved states since the 2006 scorecard was issued were
Idaho (from 25th ranked to 13th ranked), Florida (from 29th to 19th tied),
Maryland (from 20th to 12th), Ohio (from 27th to 19th tied), Illinois (from
26th to 19th tied), Louisiana (from 42nd to 35th), Arkansas (from 45th to
38th), and Virginia (from 38th to 32nd). See
http://aceee.org/press/e075pr.htm.

     "These states have stepped up efforts in various important ways, such
as setting aggressive new energy savings targets, ramping up funding for
programs, or improving efficiency of the state's own public buildings and
vehicle fleets," said Max Neubauer, Policy Program Research Assistant and
co-author of the report.

     The 2008 report is ACEEE's latest edition in a periodic analysis of
state-by-state ranking on the adoption and implementation of energy
efficiency policies, which aims to recognize leadership among the states and
identify best practices. The report ranks states on a broad array of energy
efficiency policy initiatives, including:

Utility-sector and public benefits efficiency programs and policies
Transportation and land use policies
Building energy codes
Combined heat and power (CHP)
Appliance efficiency standards
Energy efficiency in public buildings and fleets
Research, development, and deployment (RD&D)
Financial incentives for efficient technologies
     

"Faced with rapidly increasing energy costs and growing concerns about
power reliability and global warming, more and more states are turning to
energy efficiency as a reliable, cost-effective, and quick resource to
deploy to meet electricity needs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save
consumers' money," said Executive Director Steven Nadel, report co-author.
"Our scorecard offers the states a blueprint for greening up both the
environment and the economy, and it is becoming evident that more and more
policymakers are realizing that it is not only the socially responsible
thing to do, but it is also fiscally prudent."

     The 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report is available for
free download at www.aceee.org/pubs/e086.htm or a hard copy can be purchased
for $30 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St,
N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax:
202-429-2248, e-mail: aceee_publications@aceee.org.

     For more information about energy efficiency initiatives at the state
level, here are other ACEEE resources and reports:

     State Energy Efficiency Policy Database on the Web
(http://www.aceee.org/energy/state/index.htm) Complementing the Scorecard,
the site serves as another resource for information on state energy
efficiency policies. The online database is searchable by state or by
policy, and documents state activities in most of the energy efficiency
policy areas covered in the scorecard. Today we have launched an update to
the Web site to include state information on climate change and smart growth
policies as well as expanded sections on state utility and combined heat and
power system policies.

     Analyses of the Energy Efficiency Potential in Specific States

     Virginia (http://aceee.org/pubs/e085.htm) Maryland
(http://aceee.org/pubs/e082.htm) Florida
(http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e072.htm) Texas
(http://www.aceee.org/pubs/e073.htm)

     About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is
an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy
efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and
environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs,
publications, and conferences, contact ACEEE, 529 14th Street N.W., Suite
600, Washington, D.C. 20045 or visit http://www.aceee.org/.