We rank #34 in our ability to save energy. Learn what you, and our state, needs to do to make it to #1.
According to ACEEE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, our state policy ranks us #34 overall.
At the city level, we fare a little better:
- Austin ranks #9
- Dallas #22
- San Antonio #17
- El Paso #35
- Fort Worth #37
But we’ve clearly got plenty of work to do. Massachusetts, honestly, has dominated the competition. They rank #1 for the 4th consecutive year after knocking California from the top spot in 2011.
How the Scoring System Works
All states, and the US territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, were scored in 6 areas of energy policy:
- Utility and public benefits
- Building energy codes and compliance
- Combined heat and power policies
- State government led energy efficiency initiatives
- Appliance/equipment standards
Each category could receive a different number of points. The utility and public benefits programs section allowed for the most points scored (20). Then, all points were totaled. The maximum score you could get was 50 points. Massachusetts, the winner, scored 42. North Dakota and the Virgin Islands tied for last at 4. Texas had 13.
What Could Be Done to Improve Efficiency?
These are some things the report and scoring system found that the leading states did:
- Had Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) in place – These create specific goals for energy savings program that administrators must meet. Arizona, Hawaii, and Vermont are examples of states doing an excellent job of this.
- Mandatory building energy codes and improvement of code compliance – According to the report, 40% of the energy in the United States is being used by buildings. California, Rhode Island, and Illinois all have strong policies in place in this regard.
- Strict emissions standards should be in place for privately owned vehicles – In addition to buildings, vehicles consume much of the energy that Americans use. The federal government has put in new emissions standards. But this report really likes California’s state emissions standards as an example.
- States should do more to lead change in energy use and policy creation – For example, public buildings should be green friendly and as efficient as possible. Government operations on a daily basis should be a model of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency incentives should be made available to the public. They should also be doing this to show companies there’s a big market for energy-savings projects and programs. New York and Maryland do a good job of this.
What Can You Do to Help?
Everyone knows energy efficiency and its impact on the environment is a huge issue. So do your part and be efficient yourself. Consider writing to your state representative.
Change can happen, but only if you choose to act.