California Tops Energy Efficient Rankings as More States Improve

California Tops Energy Efficient Rankings as More States Improve

The top ten states in the 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard are almost identical to those in the previous rankings, though some states are quickly moving up in the lower rankings, showing how much action they have taken on energy efficiency over the past few years.

Released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the scorecard looks at how states are approaching eight issues: Utility and public benefits programs and policies, transportation policies, building energy codes, combined heat and power, appliance standards, state facility and fleet initiatives, financial and information incentives, and research, development and deployment.

In the previous edition, the 2006 Scorecard, California tied for first with Connecticut and Vermont. But in the latest edition it's the only state with first place. Among its programs, policies and goals, California was the first to adopt appliance and equipment efficiency standards.

But just because it is the top state does not mean it tops all others in each category. In looking just at utility and public efficiency program, Vermont is first. In the state, energy customers pay an energy efficiency charge that funds Efficiency Vermont, which provides efficiency services. In 2006 the state spent $15.87 million on such programs, about 2.4 percent of utility revenues, the highest of any state.

California is followed in the top 10 by Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Washington, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and New Jersey. The top 10 states are almost the same as the previous rankings, except that Wisconsin bumped Rhode Island out of the top.

States could receive up to 50 points, with California earning 40. States ranked number seven and below each received fewer than 27 points, and 20 states received 10 or fewer points. Wyoming bottomed out the rankings with zero points.

A few states that were in the middle and lower rankings in 2006 made significant jumps. Idaho moved up 12 spots, from 25th to 13th, due to an increase in efficiency investments. From 2004 to 2006, the state almost tripled its spending on electric utility efficiency programs to more than $20 million.

Florida, which developed a number of new programs including stricter building codes, jumped from 29th to 19th, and Maryland moved up from 20th to 12th.

The report includes detailed tables looking at how states compare to one another on the various issues, along with numerous examples showing what states are doing differently and, in turn, what states are not doing anything at all.