Where Does Your State Rank in Energy Efficiency? ACEEE Can Tell You

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aceee state energy efficiency scorecard 2011 sml

Hey, Californians, look out. You're not number 1 anymore. Nope. You're number 2 now. In their annual assessment of how the states are doing with energy efficiency, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has pronounced Massachusetts the best for energy efficiency in 2011. The map below shows the rankings of all 51 states. Oh, wait...DC isn't a state, but it's counted nonetheless, which is why North Dakota has achieved the ignominious honor of being ranked number 51. (Click the map to see a larger version.)

The rankings are based on how states are doing with their energy policy in these 6 areas:

  • Utility and public benefits programs and policies (20)
  • Transportation policies (9)
  • Building energy codes (7)
  • Combined heat and power (5)
  • State government initiatives (7)
  • Appliance efficiency standards (2)

Each category was worth the number of points shown in parentheses above, and if a state got the maximum in each category, their total score was 50 points. Massachusetts ended up with 45.5 points total, to take the top spot from California by 1.5 points.

In contrast to those at the top of the list, Georgia scored 13 total points out of 50, good for a ranking of 36. But hey, we improved by one spot over last year's scorecard, and I'm proud to see it's because of an area that I work in — building energy codes. The new Georgia energy code rocks! It's not because of my personal efforts since I wasn't on the state's energy code task force, but still, I'm happy to be working on the part that we're good at.

As you can see above, the maximum number of points available for building energy codes was 7, and four states (CA, MA, WA, OR) actually got all 7 of them. Even though our overall rank is 36 in Georgia, we're sitting pretty ranked number 5 in building energy codes, as we earned 6.5 points in this area.

Dang! That's half our total of 13 points. Somebody better get those laggards in the other 5 categories moving.

In the biggest category, utility and public benefits programs and policies, worth 20 points, Georgia earned a <sarcasm> big fat 1.5 points </sarcasm>. Now that's just embarrassing. We rank number 44 here. Come on, Georgia Power! (And I know some of you are reading this.) That's mainly on you. I loved your energy efficiency dog ads, but it's time to step up your game.

You really should go download and read the report (pdf) because its 122 pages are loaded with good info. (You'll have to create a free account there first, but ACEEE is a great organization.)



Oklahoma 47, how sad. Here's why: The local electric company OGE is proposing to increase the monthly service charge from $13 to $19.77 per month instead of hiking rates. This directly DISCOURAGES conservation. If they feel the need to increase revenues for infrastructure improvements OGE should increase the peak rates for TOU customers and hike rates for those on constant rates. Increased PEAK consumption is the CAUSE for infrastructure failure and need for upgrades, let those who have the highest peak consumption pay for it. 
Until the PRICE of peak power is addressed then there will be little effort made to conserve. Make TOU rates mandatory for all new accounts with smart meters installed. Give incentives to get fixed price customers to move to TOU rates. Our utility doesn't even mention TOU is available on the bill or the insert. A lot of people don't even know TOU exists. 
Once we stop subsidizing energy costs to the end users then more efficient construction will start to take place. Look at other countries such as those in Europe where energy costs aren't subsidized. Anybody else notice that the USA has the biggest vehicles in the world?

Vic Hubbard

YEAH!! We're number 5!! We had a banner year with energy efficiency targets.  
Everyone is still trying to muddle through all the changes in the new Energy Code. I still think 3rd party verification is off the table and that just means, it's a hollow code. I know you got slammed recently for pointing out the difficulties in correctly installing fiberglass batting, but this is still one of the major problems in code compliance. If the code requires R21 for the walls, it needs to perform to that R-Value. The other big problem is enforcing ACH, when code enforcement doesn't perform testing. I'm attending another WA Energy Code and Energy Star seminar in a couple weeks. I'll let you know if anything is being resolved. It's great to be No. 1 or even 5 on paper, but it's better to be a verified No. 10!

Thomas Anreise

Vic, are code officials in your area not looking for SLA numbers on final inspection? From my understanding, it is required and enforced to make these available and post on the home's service panel or HVAC equipment. If the jurisdictions are turning a blind eye to this, perhaps there is an opportunity to have some effect by bringing it to attention. Feel free to contact me offline about this.

Robert J Susz

NY is #3???? Something flawed in this analysis!

Robert J Susz

Sorry to bring this up Allison, but the map numbering is goofed. Some numbers are skipped (like 6 and 7) and there's duplicates of others (like 5 and 8). 

Allison Bailes

Rob: The reason there's no 6 and 7 is that there are three states (VT, WA, RI) all with the same score in the number 5 spot, so that's why there's no 6 and 7. It's like the results from a golf tournament. They don't go in order, but your number always tells you how many are ahead of you.

Vic Hubbard

Thomas, please contact me. I clicked your name and got a Energy Star website. I would definitely like to discuss and will bring this up at the upcoming WA Code meeting, if I don't end up on a jury. I pulled jury duty that week, too.