The past year has been an exciting time for energy efficiency, with several states strengthening efficiency policies and programs, and policymakers publicly recognizing the diverse benefits these initiatives provide. Utilities across the United States invested approximately $7.7 billion in energy efficiency over the past year. Meanwhile, states are also spurring efficiency investment through advancements in building energy codes, transportation planning, and leading by example in their own facilities and fleets. These investments reap large benefits, giving businesses, governments, and consumers more control over how and when they use energy. While some uncertainty hangs over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as it awaits judicial review, many states continue to plan innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy efficiency. As a cost-effective compliance option, efficiency is a valuable addition to any state’s policy toolkit, saving money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating jobs, and reducing the environmental impact of energy use.
Governors, legislators, regulators, businesses, and citizens are increasingly recognizing that energy efficiency is a critical state resource that keeps money in the local economy. As a result, many innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reflects these successes through a comprehensive analysis of state efforts to support energy efficiency.
This is the 10th edition of the Scorecard. As in the past, this year’s report ranks states on their policy and program efforts, not only assessing performance but also documenting best practices and recognizing leadership. By providing an annual benchmark of the progress of state energy efficiency policies, the Scorecard encourages states to continue strengthening their commitment to efficiency, thereby promoting economic growth and environmental benefits.
The 2016 Scorecard assesses state policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries, and transportation systems. It examines the six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency:
- Utility and public benefits programs and policies
- Transportation policies
- Building energy codes and compliance
- Combined heat and power (CHP) policies
- State government–led initiatives around energy efficiency
- Appliance and equipment standards