TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Gadgets

Oct 20 2011

How Energy Efficient Is Your State?


Although the national economy is still slumping, energy efficiency spending continues to increase. Nationwide, states spent $5.5 billion in electricity and natural gas efficiency programs in 2010 compared to $3.4 billion the year before, according to the 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released on Thursday by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

For the first time in the five years since the scorecard has been released, California was not in the top spot, falling behind to Massachusetts.

The spending was not just in a few states, but spread across the nation with states such as Michigan and Tennessee making strong gains in efficiency measures. Twenty-four states have adopted Energy Efficiency Resource Standards and the ones that have had the standards for a few years are already seeing gains, according to the report.

The rankings are based on six areas: utility and public benefit programs, transportation policies, building codes, combined heat and power, state government initiatives, and appliance efficiency standards.

The top 10 was almost entirely unchanged from the previous year, with just one new addition

1.     Massachusetts

2.     California

3.     New York

4.     Oregon

5.     Vermont, Washington, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Connecticut (tie)

10.   Maryland

The report noted that although the political environment is bitterly divisive these days, Republican-controlled states such as Colorado and Maine passed energy efficiency measures through legislatures as did Democratic states such as New York.

Maryland got itself into the top 10 from 16 one year ago by offering financial incentives for high-efficiency vehicles and seeing the benefits of its EERS adopted in 2008. The biggest mover of the year was Michigan, which went from 27 to the 17 spot. The Midwestern state has retooled its manufacturing sector, according to the report, with a newfound focus on efficiency and research and development of energy efficient technologies.

Massachusetts overtook California with its aggressive Green Communities Act, which was passed in 2008. The initiative, which ACEEE called “the most aggressive EERS in the nation” calls for a 2.4 percent savings in electricity sales and 1.5 percent for natural gas in 2012. The plan operates on three-year cycles. In most other categories Massachusetts and California earned similar points, although California still leads in transportation and appliance efficiency.

In the center of the country, where cheap energy abounds, states generally don’t rank high for efficiency. Nebraska, however, was one of the movers and shakers in this year’s report, shooting up the rankings from a dismal 47 to 40. Although it is still in the bottom of the listings, with a total of 10 points to Massachusetts’ 45.5 (out of a possible 50), there is evidence that efficiency can be a priority even if energy is cheap and abundant. One factor was an update to the state’s building codes, which hadn’t been touched since 2004.  Another feather in Nebraska’s cap is the state-run Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program, which offers low-interest loans to a wide variety of customers.

In the case of California, and the other 24 states that fell in this year’s ranking, it was more attributable to other states catching up rather than falling behind. Most states didn’t receive any points for appliance efficiency, but that is because they are waiting for new federal guidelines on dozens of appliances that the will be released in the next few years. But overall states are ramping up rather than sitting idle waiting for the feds to act. Even states near the bottom of the Scorecard, such as Georgia and Oklahoma, have new initiatives that are expected to help them gain ground in the rankings in 2012.

The top states are unlikely to be completely dethroned, which means the real gains will come in the middle and bottom of the pack. What other states do you think will jump up the rankings in 2012?

Read More From Katherine Tweed At GreenTech Media

Tagged , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • "“As the Texas population continues to grow, so will our energy consumption needs. We must have tools that empower the consumer to choose their products and monitor their usage wisely. TexasIsHot.org is a great resource, which is exactly what Texans need in today’s deregulated market.”" - State Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton), Chairman of House State Affairs Committee
  • "In order to meet our goals, we need programs like the TexasIsHot campaign to help change the way people think about energy." - State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), Chairman of Senate Natural Resources Committee
  • "Texas leads the nation in wind power because it makes money, not because it makes us feel better. Texans are a practical, penny-wise people who I think will be happy to learn how to save a few bucks on their power bills with the common-sense advice at TexasIsHot.org."-Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
  • "If every Texas household adopted just a few of the dozens of energy efficiency strategies referenced on TexasIsHot.org, our air would be cleaner, our limited supply of natural resources would be better protected, and our wallets would be heavier..." Kip Averitt (R-Waco), Former State Senator and Chairman of Senate Committee on Natural Resources
  • ”The TexasIsHot campaign targets an important piece of the clean energy effort -- educating Texans on the way we use electricity and quantifying the financial and environmental costs associated with our use. By just reducing the amount of electricity we use and waste, TexasIsHot.org can show people how to save money..." State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
  • "Fluctuating energy costs are really hurting Texas families and businesses, but by just making a few easy changes, Texans can cut down on energy waste. TexasIsHot.org is a tremendous resource which arms consumers with the information they need to save themselves money by becoming more energy efficient, and help our environment." State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
  • "Texas is the third fastest growing state in the nation with a net growth of 1,000 people each and every day. This brings many challenges including providing clean and affordable electricity. That is why I'm excited about TexasIsHot.org. This website is an instructional resource that will help Texans save on their energy bills at home and in the workplace..." State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • "Now, more than ever, Texans need to work together to conserve energy and to make more efficient use of the energy we consume. The TexasIsHot.org website is an extraordinary resource for people who want to save money and help conserve our precious natural resources..." State Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas)
  • "By partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition we can extend our effort’s reach, leverage our resources, and ensure that Austin’s energy grid continues to be a test-bed for technologies, products, and services that will transform our state’s energy system." Brewster McCracken, Executive Director, Pecan Street Project
  • "The City of Houston is working harder than ever to make Houston green and energy efficient, but we need the help of every citizen. I would encourage everyone to take a moment to explore the TexasIsHot website to learn what we can all do to make Houston, and the rest of Texas, the green and energy efficient example for the rest of the nation." Mayor Annise Parker, Houston
  • "Energy efficiency is one of our top priorities. Partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition will help us educate citizens and local businesses about energy-efficient practices in order to meet our goal of reducing residential and commercial electric use." Gavin Dillingham, Chief of Sustainable Growth – General Services Department, for the City of Houston
  • "We are excited about the new partnership that the City of Corpus Christi has entered into with the TexasIsHot Coalition. TexasIsHot.org provides a platform to educate policy makers, city employees and citizens on how to save money and help the environment by conserving energy..." Mayor Joe Adame, Corpus Christi
  • "I am excited that the City of Corpus Christi has joined the TexasIsHot Coalition and look forward to working with them to help Texans become smarter energy users. Energy efficiency is by far the best way for people to reduce their bills and help the environment, but we need education and outreach to make this happen." State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr (D-Corpus Christi)
  • "Because of its fast growth and hot summers, Texas has to get smarter about energy conservation. I applaud the efforts of Corpus Christi and TexasIsHot to help businesses and residents reap the benefits of increased efficiency." Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
  • "Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way to get smart about energy use, saving both money and the environment. I applaud the TexasIsHot Coalition in their effort to educate Texans about the benefits of energy efficiency..." Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas
Get Connected

Enter your email address and receive tips and helpful info from Texasishot.org