Massachusetts Cited for Energy Efficiency
A federal report ranking states based on energy efficiency efforts has pushed Massachusetts to the top spot for the first time, and it puts Vermont and Connecticut among the top 10.
Every year the Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks state efforts to reduce - or at least hold the line on - energy use. This year the scorecard shows that 29 states have either adopted or made significant progress toward adoption of the latest energy-saving building codes for homes and commercial properties. But more than half the states have minimal or no policies to encourage efficiency in the transportation sector.
"The energy that we do not use as a result of better technologies and smarter systems has tremendous value. It is cheap, it is clean and it is ready for widespread deployment."
Michael Sciortino is the author of the report, in which Massachusetts outseats California as the most energy efficient state.
"Massachusetts earned its number one ranking this year by excelling in every aspect of energy efficiency. It has some of the most advanced building codes and land use policies in the country and it has policies in place that will make its utilities sector one of the most advanced in the country in saving energy."
In Washington, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick took part in a conference call announcing the results.
"We see energy efficiency as our first fuel, what we look to first to meet our energy needs before considering new energy generation, knowing that the most economical fuel is that which we do not use."
New England states made a generally strong showing, with Vermont in 5th place and Connecticut in 9th. Council officials said the scorecard shows states are making progress on energy efficiency efforts despite a sluggish economy, state budget difficulties and a failure by Congress to enact a comprehensive energy strategy.