What Are the Top States for Energy Efficiency? Did Yours Make the Cut?

photo efficiency report retrofit smart meter
Credit: pgegreenenergy

The Center for American Progress has ranked the Top 10 states for policies that promote energy efficiency. The report cautions, however, that even those states on the list haven't fully tapped into the power of using less power. The CAP, a progressive advocacy organization headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, says its report card is intended to highlight state regulations and incentives for energy efficiency that are working today, and push for a national policy to retrofit buildings in the U.S. and create jobs. The report was co-authored by Energy Resource Management, a consulting company.

So who's on the list? These 10 states are leaders in creating energy efficiency markets, according to CAP, and Energy Priorities Magazine:

  • Connecticut
  • California
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio

The report's authors warn that "No state has fully developed the potential of their energy efficiency market to create clean energy jobs, let alone the federal government."

What policies make for great, if imperfect, leaders? There are 10, including measures for renewable portfolio standards, renewable energy credits and penalties for noncompliance with energy efficiency standards.

"Our country needs a national program to retrofit America's homes, offices, and factories for energy efficiency--a program that can provide an important answer to the jobs crisis facing our country," according to CAP.

"But it will take public policy leadership to mobilize the private sector investment that is needed to grow this emerging market. Fortunately, many states around the country are already demonstrating that with public sector leadership it is possible to jumpstart market demand for energy efficiency retrofits of our homes and businesses."

The report estimates that retrofitting just 40 percent of the residential and commercial
building stock in the U.S. would: Create 625,000 sustained full-time jobs over a decade, spark $500 billion in new investments to upgrade 50 million homes and office buildings, and generate as much as $64 billion a year in cost savings for U.S. ratepayers.

The report and an executive summary are available as .pdf files from CAP.

And just in case your state didn't make the "best of" list, there are 10 more states with lots of potential, CAP says:

  • Virginia
  • Hawaii
  • Michigan
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • Delaware
  • New Mexico
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Utah.
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