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New England News

Massachusetts Ranks #1 For Energy Efficiency Followed By Northeast Neighbors

The 2016 ACEEE scorecard map.
Twitter: @ACEEEdc
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The 2016 ACEEE scorecard map.

Massachusetts has found itself atop a national energy efficiency scorecard for the sixth straight year. Several Northeast states also ranked near the top.California tied Massachusetts for the top spot in the 10th annual rankings issued by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson joined a recent conference call to announce the findings.

“The commonwealth’s commitment to energy efficiency cuts across all of ACEE’s criteria including utilities, state and municipal operations, vehicles, building codes and combined heat and power,” said Judson. “We have continued to make advances every year.”

Judson says Massachusetts’ utility administrators delivered 3 percent savings on electric sales in 2015. Furthermore, she says the recently adopted 2016 to 2018 statewide energy efficiency plan sets the most aggressive goals in the U.S.

“It sets electric savings at 2.94 percent annual reduction in retail sales,” Judson explained. “It sets gas savings at 1.24 percent annual reduction in retail sales. This enables $8 billion in benefits for our residents and businesses. Massachusetts’ energy efficiency leadership has created over 69,000 jobs and is still growing in our state.”

New York jumped up four slots to tie with Connecticut for fifth in the 2016 efficiency rankings. Lead study author Weston Berg of ACEEE noted one of the reasons the Empire State gained ground.

“Both their utilities and NYSERDA run electricity and natural gas efficiency programs which both reported electricity savings of just above 1 percent,” Berg said. “They’ve done a lot in recent years. They have some very strong policies to encourage efficient transportation. It’s one of the few states to have a vehicle miles reduction target. It also this year updated its building energy codes.”

Connecticut rose one spot from 2015 while Vermont held strong at number three. Rhode Island is sandwiched in between at number four. Kathleen Hogan is the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency. She says most efficiency efforts are started and put into action by states. Still, Hogan says common appliance and equipment standards can be utilized nationally.

“But there’s much more energy efficiency opportunity in this country than from these pieces of equipment and appliances alone,” Hogan said. “Home improvement. New home construction and as you do building retrofits, whether it’s commercial or residential, making them be as efficient as they can be with a good payback to consumers. Some of the other programs that are being delivered across the country such as through utilities are really targeting these other opportunities.”

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