For the second straight year, Massachusetts has achieved the highest rankings in the country for its efforts in energy efficiency, according to the latest annual scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Also in this year's top 10, in order, are California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota. And where there's a top of the list, there's a bottom of the list, those states most in need of improving their energy efficiency efforts, (beginning with last): Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nebraska.
ACEEE says the three most improved states, those that have substantially increased their electric efficiency program budgets in 2011, are Oklahoma, Montana and South Carolina.
So what do all these numbers and rankings mean?
According to Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director, "These findings show that energy efficiency is being embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike at the state level. That nonpartisan status is critical because too many conversations about U.S. energy policy begin with the false premise that the only way to safeguard our reliable energy future is to expand our supply. While some supply investments will be needed, the truth is that step one should always be energy efficiency, our cheapest, cleanest and fastest energy resource."
He added that energy efficiency improvements benefit consumers, governments and businesses by helping them meet their needs while using less energy â€“ and that results in cost savings. Also, those savings encourage investment in all sectors of the economy which creates jobs and helps reduce environmental impacts.
You might also be interested in ...
Has the tide turned? MA regulators want utilities to modernize
Major global companies get aggressive on minimizing future energy risks