Mass. Continues to See Green: The Bay State is Ranked First in the Nation for Energy Efficiency

Posted by erik devaney

Just days after the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) reported that 64,000 people are now employed in the state’s clean energy economy, new nationwide rankings have emerged showing that the Bay State is #1 when it comes to energy efficiency.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked Massachusetts first in its annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard. Governor Deval Patrick accepted the honor for the Bay State at a recent ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Governor Patrick cited his Administration’s Green Communities Act as being integral to the state’s recent accolade.

“Thanks to our investments in innovation and infrastructure, Massachusetts is now leading the nation in energy efficiency,” said Governor Patrick. “Through our Green Communities Act, we set aggressive goals and laid the foundation for greater investment in energy efficiency – and now we are proud to be a model for the nation and world.”

For the first time, Massachusetts has beat out its West Coast rival, California, in order to claim the ACEEE’s top spot. According to the ACEEE, the Bay State now has the most aggressive energy efficiency goals in the nation. The ACEEE calculated its energy efficiency scores based on the following criteria: utility efficiency programs and policy, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power projects, state government initiatives and appliance efficiency standards.

“Massachusetts has a long record of success implementing energy efficiency programs,” the ACEEE’s report noted. “The state took a major leap forward in 2008, however, when it passed the Green Communities Act, which established energy efficiency as the state’s ‘first-priority’ resource, creating an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council to collaborate with utilities to develop statewide efficiency plans in three-year cycles.”

The state’s current three-year plan aims to achieve natural gas savings equal to 1.5 percent of sales and electric savings equal to 2.4 percent of sales in 2012. According to the ACEEE, this plan amounts to “the most aggressive EERS [Energy Efficiency Resource Standard] target in the nation.”

“Under the leadership of Governor Patrick, our policies have positioned Massachusetts as a leader in energy efficiency adoption and it’s no accident we’ve received this honor,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done with our legislative, utility, environmental partners, and communities to reach our collective statewide energy efficiency goals.”

To date, 74 municipalities across Massachusetts have become “Green Communities” as a result of the Department of Energy Resources’ Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which was created through the Green Communities Act. Municipalities qualify for the distinction through meeting clean energy benchmarks, including adoption of energy efficient building and planning practices.

The Green Communities Act also strives to make energy efficiency the state’s “first fuel” by requiring investor-owned utilities to pursue cost-effective energy efficiency plans.  In 2010 - the first year of their implementation - the utility energy efficiency plans saved the equivalent to the annual natural gas usage of nearly 14,000 households and the equivalent to the annual electricity usage of almost 85,000 households.

“By making energy efficiency Massachusetts’ first fuel, thousands of people - from contractors and homeowners to businesses and municipalities - are benefiting from our strategic energy efficiency investments,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “We are demonstrating what’s possible and building on a history of leadership as we improve our codes, incentives, and infrastructure across the state. We are proud to be recognized by ACEEE today.”

Related posts:

  1. The Bay State is Booming with Green Jobs; Report Shows More Than 64,000 People Now Employed by MA Clean Energy Companies
  2. Mass. Calls for Improved Clean Energy Connections
  3. Former Vt. Governor Continues Wind Criticism
  4. AllEarth Renewables has its Moment in the Sun; the Vermont-based Company’s ‘AllSun Tracker’ Selected as a Top 10 Green Product for 2012
  5. The Cape Wind-National Grid Contract: A Renewable Energy Windfall or a Money-Sucking Misstep?

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Posted by erik devaney on Oct 20 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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