Washington, D.C., U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 2, 2009 - California is doing the most to implement energy efficiency measures among U.S. states, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) latest “2009 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.”

In second place is Massachusetts, followed by Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Washington state, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Maine.

The “Scorecard,” which scores energy efficiency policies, programs, and practices, finds that despite the current economic downturn, state-level efforts to make the most of energy efficiency as the cheapest, cleanest and quickest of all energy resources is not being sidetracked.

“By embracing a wide range of cost-effective energy efficiency strategies, the leading states are demonstrating that efficiency is their ’first fuel’ to meet energy demands while growing their economies,” said Maggie Eldridge, ACEEE research associate and lead author of the report. “States continue to raise the bar with comprehensive strategies to improve efficiency in their buildings, industry, and transportation systems. They are the ‘living laboratories’ of energy efficiency.”

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 most improved states are stepping up their efforts in several ways, such as adopting new building energy codes and setting aggressive new energy savings targets,” said Eldridge. “By highlighting these most improved states, we hope to encourage others to step up their efforts to implement energy efficiency as their first-priority resource.”

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.

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: Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana (tied 41); Georgia (44); Alaska, West Virginia (tied 45); Nebraska (47); Alabama (48); Mississippi, North Dakota (tied 49); and Wyoming (51, including DC).