Connecticut slips slightly in state-by-state ranking of energy efficiency
Connecticut slid out of the top five this year in a national report that ranks states based on energy efficiency, even though its scores in individual categories was virtually unchanged.
The state ranked sixth nationwide, with a score of 35.5 out of a possible 50 points, in the national scorecard compiled by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit organization that has promoted energy efficiency since 1980.
Connecticut has placed in the Top 10 every year since the national scorecard was first compiled 11 years ago. The scorecard awards points in six categories: utilities and public benefits programs, transportation, building policies, government-led initiatives, appliance standards and availability of combined heat and power systems.
“We’re really proud of the work Connecticut does,” said Diane Duva, director of the office of energy demand for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “We’re always glad to see other states improve.”
The same states made the Top 10 this year as last year, but all of their rankings changed. Oregon jumped up to fifth this year with a score of 36.5, which moved Connecticut down a slot. Massachusetts reclaimed the top spot with a score of 44.5 points.
“Each of these states has well-established efficiency programs and continues to push the boundaries by redefining the ways in which policies and regulations can enable energy savings,” the press release for the report states.
State rankings for the 2017 ACEEE scorecard
States are awarded scores in six categories for a total possible 50 points.
1. Massachusetts: 44.5
2. California: 42
3. Rhode Island: 41.5
4. Vermont: 39
5. Oregon: 36.5
6. Connecticut: 35.5
The report commended Connecticut on several areas, including offering loan and incentive programs that encourage energy savings.
“Connecticut continues to provide leadership in energy efficiency, driven by nation-leading levels of investment toward savings through Energize Connecticut and the CT Energy Efficiency Fund,” the report states. “Connecticut maintains a diverse suite of efficiency policies, including building codes, appliance standards, utility targets, and lead-by-example programs.”
Both DEEP and the report said other states model efficiency and energy programs after Connecticut’s Energize CT and the Connecticut Green Bank, which was recognized by Harvard University this year and is a model for proposed legislation to create a national green bank. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy have also commended Connecticut on its energy programs.
These programs have helped the state generate energy savings that offset the need for more power plants, Duva said. She added that she got a call just a few days ago from Maryland asking how to roll out similar programs.
“It’s a great network of states working together to reduce energy waste,” she said, adding that most New England states have consistently ranked high in the report.
Connecticut’s scores changed in just two categories, increasing half a point in building energy efficiency policies and decreasing half a point in appliance efficiency standards.
ACEEE scored the appliance efficiency standards differently this year, which contributed to Connecticut’s decrease, Duva said, adding the organization said it was going to take the state’s existing law for the standards into account next year.
She said the state is also striving to improve in other areas.
“Even with Connecticut’s excellent score, we’re going to continue to invest in energy efficiency because it’s good for Connecticut’s economy and environment,” Duva said.