ACEEE Index ranks top states for energy efficiency

An annual scorecard produced by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a national research organization, ranked all 50 U.S. states on their environmental friendliness, with Massachusetts ranking number one for the second year in a row.

According to a USA Today analysis of the ACEEE Index, the scores from this year showed that, unlike in previous rankings, the states that showed the biggest increases in energy efficiency have a mix of Republican and Democratic leadership.

However, the states in the top five still show that Democratic gubernatorial leadership correlated strongly with more energy efficient standards, though a partisan tilt seems to be diminishing.

The top five in descending order are Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon and Vermont, with Maryland and Washington D.C. showing huge improvements and cracking the top 10. On thing the analysis took note of was that all states in the top positions had Democratic governors.

Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Montana saw the biggest surges in energy efficiency compared to the previous year, with the latter two seeing numerous environmentally friendly overhauls under Republican leadership. This furthered the case that conservative consumption of energy is now a non-partisan issue for many nationwide.

Utility companies spent an estimated $7 billion last year on reducing energy and electric use on the state level. Compared to 2010, this is an increase of almost 30 percent in new programs and initiatives aimed at consumers.

To take advantage of energy efficient programs in your state, contact a home inspector and request an energy audit to see what can be done to make your home more energy efficient.