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California drops to No. 2 in energy efficiency rankings

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The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's latest assessment of the states, released Thursday, showed California edged out of first place for the first time in the five years that the rankings have been conducted.

The council's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard showed Massachusetts in the top spot, edging out California with a score of 45.5 out of a possible 50 points. California had 44 points, then there was a drop to New York in third with a score of 38, followed by Oregon (37.5). Washington, Vermont and Rhode Island were next with identical scores of 34.

The scores were based on weighted criteria that gave more credit to states that offered utility and public benefits funds and also had the best efficiency programs and policies (20 points possible). That was followed in importance by transportation, building energy codes and state government initiatives.

California finished first or second in every category including the one gauging appliance efficiency standards, where it tied for first.

ACEEE representatives said the report card showed that many states were taking the problem of energy efficiency seriously in spite of a sour economy and severe budget constraints.

“Energy efficiency is America’s abundant, untapped energy resource and the states continue to press forward to reap its economic and environmental benefits,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel.
“The message here is that energy efficiency is a pragmatic, bipartisan solution that political leaders from both sides of the aisle can support. As they have over the past decades, states continue to provide the leadership needed to forge an energy-efficient economy, which reduces energy costs, spurs job growth, and benefits the environment,” Nadel added.

There was some irony in the report. The state with the lowest ranking, North Dakota, with a mere 2.5 points out of 50, is the state with the nation's fastest growing crude oil production.

See more on the ACEEE Scorecard.

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— Ronald D. White

Map: The ACEEE ranked the states in terms of their efforts to improve energy efficiency. The nation's leaders are clustered on the West Coast and in the Northeast. Credit: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

 
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