Best and Worst States for Energy Efficiency

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In 2016, U.S. utilities invested about $7.6 billion in energy efficiency programs and saved approximately 25.4 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that in July of this year, the average cost of a kilowatt-hour in the United States was 13.12 cents, or $131.20 per MWh. That’s a savings of $3.33 billion.

Energy efficiency efforts vary among states, but in 2016 about half the states reported saving more as a result of energy efficiency programs than they did in 2015.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just published its annual “State Energy Efficiency Scorecard” that ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia in six categories: utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state initiatives and appliance standards. Scores are assigned in a range of 1 to 50.

The 10 states with the highest (best) energy efficient scores last year were:

  1. Massachusetts: 44.5
  2. California: 42.0
  3. Rhode Island: 41.5
  4. Vermont: 39.0
  5. Oregon: 36.5
  6. Connecticut: 35.5
  7. New York: 34.5
  8. Washington: 34.5
  9. Minnesota: 33.0
  10. Maryland: 31.0

In only one state, Maryland, did the cost of a kilowatt hour fall in the period between July 2016 and July 2017.

The 10 states with the lowest energy efficiency scores were:

  1. North Dakota: 3.5
  2. Wyoming: 5.0
  3. South Dakota: 5.0
  4. Kansas: 6.0
  5. West Virginia: 6.5
  6. Mississippi: 7.5
  7. Nebraska: 8.5
  8. Louisiana: 8.5
  9. Alabama: 9.0
  10. South Carolina: 9.5

Only Nebraska showed a year-over-year decline in the price of a kilowatt-hour.

Here’s a map with scores for all 50 states and D.C.

Source: ACEEE

The full ACEEE 2017 Scorecard is available at the organization’s website.