New England’s spending on energy-efficient projects expected to hit $5.7 billion by 2021

Last week we wrote about Rhode Island's energy-efficient initiatives and how they are helping to fuel the state's economy. But apparently the Ocean State isn't the only place in the northeast looking to cut its power use and improve its energy costs.

ISO New England, a company in Holyoke, Massachusetts, that helps to protect the region's economy by ensuring that electricity is constantly available, told The Associated Press that energy efficiency within the area's six states has more than doubled since 2008.

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont have collectively contributed $1.2 million toward these efforts from 2008 to 2011, according to ISO's most recent report. This is expected to reach $5.7 million from 2015 to 2021.

The New England states will be able to save about $260 million by deferring 10 transmission upgrades that were once needed to ensure reliability. Stephen Rourke, ISO's vice president for system planning, told the source about some of the northeast's efforts to reduce the cost of energy, which include using compact fluorescent light bulbs and installing more efficient heating and cooling systems in buildings across the region.

"This is a very big deal," Seth Kaplan, vice president for policy and climate advocacy at the Conservation Law Foundation, said about ISO's recent report. "The system needs to know what the demand is."

It's heartening to see that these East Coast states are making so many substantial efforts to adopt energy-efficient technologies. Fortunately, moving forward with eco-friendly upgrades is something that anyone can do if they work with the right companies and are aware of the resources available to them. To get started, contact a home inspection contractor for an energy audit, and they'll help you determine where to go from there.