By Derek Newberry, Advocacy Fellow
For the fifth year in a row, Massachusetts ranks as the #1 Energy Efficient state in the nation! According to a press release from our Chapter ally The Acadia Center, Massachusetts has been recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a national nonpartisan organization, for its continued commitment to energy efficiency in the 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
After surpassing California in 2011 (CA is behind MA by only half a point in this year's rankings), Massachusetts has achieved this recognition especially through its Green Communities Act of 2008. Over the last 5 years, our state has been saving a large and growing percentage of energy every year through efficiency measures, and delivering over $11.5 billion in economic benefits and energy savings for ratepayers.
Looking ahead, Massachusetts' next 3-year plan (2016-2018) is being evaluated by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, a stakeholder board. This draft plan, which reflects the state's history of prioritizing energy efficiency, is expected to deliver $8.13 billion in economic benefits and energy savings over the 3-year period. It also sets savings goals (2.93% of electric sales, 1.24% of natural gas sales) which are currently believed by the board to be the highest savings goals in the nation, once again.
Massachusetts' ambitious 3-year plan will translate to major environmental benefits, equivalent to removing ~408,000 cars from the road.
“Maximizing efficiency is a major step toward securing a clean energy future,” said Amy Boyd, Senior Attorney for the Acadia Center, and member of the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council. “Massachusetts is showing that the principle of deploying least-cost, non-polluting measures to reduce demand really works. It's a triple-win for the environment, the economy and the end-users who enjoy lower costs and more effective energy use.”
Although Massachusetts' incredible #1 ranking on the Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the state and region need to continue creating new or improved incentives, financing tools and strategies to include inefficient homes and commercial buildings.
Congratulations to everyone in the Massachusetts green building industry for your hard work to continuously raise the bar for energy efficiency throughout the US!
Thanks to our Chapter ally, The Acadia Center, for their press release about this important issue.