BOSTON — The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a national nonpartisan organization, released its 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard yesterday, with Massachusetts maintaining its #1 ranking for the sixth year in a row, but now sharing the podium with California. Last year, only a half point separated the states’ rankings.
In achieving its highest score to date, Massachusetts’ score increased a point due to adopting the most recent IECC 2015 and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 as part of the state building code. These new standards will reduce the cost of energy for new homes and businesses in the state. Massachusetts could earn a perfect score in the category of utility programs and policies, the largest category in the ACEEE scorecard, with deeper savings in its natural gas programs.
“Progress in investing in energy efficiency raises all boats—consumers in Massachusetts, California and all the leading states are the real winners here,” said Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center’s President. “Maximizing efficiency is a major step toward securing a clean and affordable energy future. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and other leaders are showing that it really works to deploy least-cost, non-polluting measures to benefit the environment, the economy and consumers,” said Sosland.
Massachusetts has proven its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act of 2008 by saving a large and growing percentage of energy every year through efficiency measures, and delivering over $14.8 billion in economic benefits and energy savings for ratepayers over the last six years. Massachusetts’ current 3-year plan (2016-2018) is expected to deliver $8.1 billion in economic benefits and energy savings, and sets savings goals (2.93% of sales for electric and 1.24% of sales for natural gas) that are the highest in the nation, yet again. The environmental benefits the 3-year plan will deliver are equivalent to removing approximately 408,000 cars from the road.
California’s rise to the top is a sign that other states are rapidly ramping up their investments in low-cost energy efficiency, and helping consumers lower their energy bills and spur economic growth. One area where Massachusetts risks falling behind the rest of the country and losing the top ranking is in the management and public availability of efficiency data. Massachusetts satisfies only one of six standards on which ACEEE intends to score states in the future – for comparison, California satisfied five.
“Massachusetts is on the winning path, but there is still plenty of work to do to make the most of this low-cost, clean resource,” said Amy Boyd, Senior Attorney at Acadia Center. “We should celebrate our success, but then return to the hard work that it takes to accelerate strategies to reach the homes and businesses that still need help lowering their energy costs,” Boyd said. “Making smart use of all the data that new technologies can provide utility companies will reduce costs, make processes more transparent, and keep us on track to stay on top of the ACEEE rankings,” Boyd concluded.
Acadia Center is a member of the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, a stakeholder board that has statutory responsibility for advising and assisting the state’s utilities in developing and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency plans for electricity and natural gas. Acadia Center looks forward to working with fellow members, utilities and other stakeholders to make sure that the efficiency plans for Massachusetts are implemented effectively to deliver cost savings through lower utility bills, emissions reductions, and clean energy job growth, in addition to broader economic benefits.
See the Scorecard at: http://www.aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard
Acadia Center is a non-profit, research, and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon, and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.