BOSTON – On this day, the first nationwide Energy Efficiency Day, Acadia Center commends New England its recent recognition for a long history of accomplishments in energy efficiency. New England states are among the most highly ranked in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released last week, and recent action at the policy level promises to increase the region’s contribution to national energy efficiency savings.
“New England has become a leader in energy efficiency by implementing strong policies that work for consumers and strengthen the economy while helping to meet climate goals,” said Jamie Howland, Director of the Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Initiative at Acadia Center. “Through energy efficiency, we can lower utility bills, improve public health, reduce pollution, and create jobs; Acadia Center is excited to see the states recognizing and embracing these opportunities.”
In the ACEEE rankings, Massachusetts took first place for the sixth year in a row, tying this year with California. 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.
Rhode Island took first place in the scorecard’s utility policy and programs category, ranking fourth overall. The state’s Least Cost Procurement law is primarily responsible for its continued leadership on energy efficiency. First implemented 9 years ago and extended for another 5 years last summer, the policy states that distribution companies cannot acquire new electric or natural gas supply until “all-cost effective” energy efficiency measures have been exhausted. As a result, since 2008, Rhode Island has invested over $558 million in energy efficiency and consumers have realized $2 billion in economic benefits.
Vermont also ranked highly on the scorecard at third, and Connecticut and New York tied for fifth. Maine tied for 11th, gaining further distinction as the “most improved” state.
Though New Hampshire ranked 21st on the ACEEE scorecard, the state has made a significant commitment to increase energy efficiency through recent policy action. In August, the state instituted its first energy efficiency targets, approving a settlement between the Public Utilities Commission and other stakeholders to create the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS). Until now, New Hampshire has been the only state in the region without statewide targets. With the EERS, it takes a historic step towards reducing energy costs for its citizens.
Acadia Center pioneered the energy efficiency stakeholder council model to assist with the development, implementation, and review of energy efficiency programs at the state level. Staff members currently hold appointed seats on energy efficiency advisory councils in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Acadia Center looks forward to continued work with businesses, utilities, regulators and others to make sure that programs meet their goals and reach all customers.
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.