In Colorado, nearly half of homes constructed in the first half of this year met Energy Start standards, up from just 8 percent in 2007. It’s that kind of dramatic transformation that put the state’s Energy Star New Homes effort at the top of a list of energy-efficiency programs honored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Two programs by New York state as well as programs in Hawaii and Maryland followed Colorado as great examples of doing energy-efficiency right, in the nonprofit organization’s judgment.
Michael Sciortino was lead author of the ACEEE report, “States Stepping Forward: Best Practices for State-Led Energy Efficiency Programs.” He said the Obama stimulus and other government grants and incentives were giving states the opportunity and responsibility to take their energy-efficiency efforts up a notch—and they have been. “Our report highlights programs recently developed with these new sources of funding,” Sciortino said, “as well as many well-established programs that have been saving energy costs for consumers for decades.”
ACEEE has been around for 30 years, doing energy-efficiency research and advocacy. The organization said it instituted the awards for state programs in the hope they will inspire new programs and initiatives, and “to recognize programs that are exemplary in reducing energy use and energy costs through energy efficiency, and providing economic benefits to customers and taxpayers.”