The ACEEE released its 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard last week.
Massachusetts topped the list for the first time, passing California. The small northern state began making big leaps forward after its Green Communities Act in 2008, which established energy efficiency as the “first-priority” resource.
Oil-rich North Dakota came in last for the second year in a row.
Maryland is new to the top 10, and made one of the biggest improvements since last year.
Maryland's Utility Policies and Programs only ranks #20, but it has the second best Transportation Policies.
Maryland offers incentives for buying electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Connecticut's position remains unchanged since 2010.
Connecticut is above average in every policy category, and it is a leader in Appliance Efficiency Standards.
It is the only state to adopt new appliance standards in 2011. Connecticut also offers sales tax exemption on energy-efficient products.
Minnesota ties Connecticut again this year.
Minnesota has the fourth best Utility Policies and Programs. However, it has weak Transportation Policies and no Appliance Efficiency Standards.
Utilities in Minnesota earn incentives for exceptional energy-efficiency performance.
Rhode Island rises two spots this year to tie for fifth.
Its Utility Programs and Policies are ranked #2, however it has the worst State Initiatives for Energy Efficiency among the top 10 states.
State utilities in Rhode Island collaborate with an expert council to develop three-year savings and budget goals.
Washington moves up one spot to also tie for fifth.
It is tied for having the best Building Codes and Compliance for energy efficiency.
Washington is also one of only three states to have vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction targets--reduce VMT per capita 18 per cent by 2020.
Vermont maintains the number five position, but is no longer alone this year.
Vermont has the best Utility Programs and Policies among all 50 states. It also spends the highest percentage of state revenue on efficiency programs: 4.57 per cent.
Not surprisingly, Vermont also has the most savings as per cent of electricity sales: 1.64 per cent.
Oregon drops a spot this year because it did not improve as much as the top three states.
Despite being high overall, Oregon only ranks #19 in Electricity Savings. But it is tied for the best Building Codes and Compliance.
Oregon State University, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon all have well-established energy research and development centres.
New York moves into the top three this year.
New York ties for having the second best State Government Initiatives.
New York enacted the Power NY Act of 2011 this year. It also has one of the leading research and development institutions, NYSERDA.
California drops one spot and is the only state in the top 10 to get a lower score than in 2010.
California is the only state to spend over $1 billion on energy efficiency programs. Unsurprisingly, they also save the most electricity from year to year.
The state's utilities have been using energy efficiency programs for decades and consistently save 1 per cent of sales annually.
Massachusetts takes the top spot for the first time ever.
Massachusetts is the best or second best in all of the six key categories.
The council is working with utilities to save 2.4 per cent of electricity in 2012. Also, its GreenDOT directive aims to reduce over 2 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2020.
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