The current recession doesn’t appear to be sidetracking state-level efforts to make the most of energy efficiency as the cheapest, cleanest and quickest of all energy resources, according to a 50-state scorecard on energy-efficiency policies, programs, and practices from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The 2009 State Energy-Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks states in six categories, concludes that the 10 states doing the most to implement energy efficiency are: California (1), Massachusetts (2), Connecticut (3), Oregon (4), New York (5), Vermont (6), Washington State (7), Minnesota (8), Rhode Island (9), and Maine (10).

Several states have advanced strongly in the ranks from 2008 to 2009, including: Maine (up from 19 to 10), Colorado (up from 24 to 16), Delaware (up from 32 to 20), District of Columbia (up from 30 to a tie for 20), South Dakota (up from 47 to 36), and Tennessee (up from 46 to 38).

The 2009 report is ACEEE’s third edition of its annual state-by-state ranking on the adoption and implementation of energy-efficiency policies, which aims to recognize leadership among the states and identify best practices. The scorecard examines six state energy efficiency policy areas: (1) utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies; (2) transportation polices; (3) building energy codes; (4) combined heat and power; (5) state government initiatives; and (6) appliance efficiency standards. States can earn up to 50 possible points in these six policy areas combined.

According to ACEEE, the states comprising the group that “most needs to improve” are (with ties): Arkansas (41); Missouri (41); Louisiana (41); Georgia (44); Alaska (45); West Virginia (45); Nebraska (47); Alabama (48); Mississippi (49); North Dakota (49); and Wyoming (51).

For information about energy-efficiency initiatives at the state level, visit ACEEE’s State Energy-Efficiency Policy Database on the Web (www.aceee.org/energy/state/index.htm). The 2009 State Energy-Efficiency Scorecard is available for free download, or a hard copy can be purchased for $40 plus $5 postage and handling from ACEEE Publications, 529 14th St., N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045, phone: 202-507-4000, fax: 202-429-2248, e-mail: aceee_publications@aceee.org.

Source: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy