California Falls From Energy-Efficiency Perch

If you were to guess the most energy efficient state in the United States, which would be your pick? If you guessed California, you’d be wrong. According to the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Massachusetts, for the first time, edged out California as the most energy efficient state in the ACEEE’s 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scoreboard.

California, which had previously held the number one spot four years running, came in second, followed by New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Connecticut and Maryland. ACEEE based its rankings on comprehensive assessments of the states policies and programs to improve efficiency in homes, businesses, industry and transportation sectors.

state energy efficiency rankings

image via ACEEE

In addition to the top 10, the Scoreboard also ranked the states most in need of improvement. Those, starting with last place, were: North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Missouri, Alabama and South Dakota. The six most improved states since the last scoreboard were: Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Alabama, Maryland and Tennessee.

The report concluded that there is tremendous potential for additional energy efficiency savings across all 50 states, the report did uncover bright spots. State budgets for electrical efficiency programs increased to $4.5 billion in 2010, up from $3.4 billion in 2009. And nearly half of the states have adopted an energy efficiency resource standard, setting long-term energy saving targets that help prompt utility sector upgrades.

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Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.