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It's great to be in California -- State tops energy efficiency scorecard

The current economic downturn is not sidetracking state-level efforts to make the most of energy efficiency, 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 made strong moves up 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.

In 2009, energy efficiency has risen to a new level of recognition in the U.S. and is a resource that is increasingly being called upon at the state level. In the race for clean energy resources, states are adopting aggressive energy efficiency policies, increasing investments in efficiency programs, and improving efficiency in their own facilities and fleets. While some states have been making commitments toward energy efficiency for decades, others are just getting started in a big way, while still others have yet to tap this energy resource.

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, including DC).

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, www.aceee.org/

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