PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island has cracked the top 10 most energy-efficient states in the country, according to an annual list released Wednesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The advocacy group ranked Rhode Island at No. 9 on its list this year, up from No. 11 in 2008. Massachusetts was No. 2, up from No. 7 last year, Connecticut maintained its No. 3 ranking and California took first place again. Wyoming came last.
Rhode Island uses the least energy per capita of any state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The scorecard examined states in six policy areas: utility-sector and public benefits programs and policies; transportation polices; building energy codes; state government initiatives; appliance efficiency standards; and regulations that encourage the use of systems that generate both electricity and thermal energy.
Rhode Island scored a 27.5 on the 50-point scale, while Massachusetts racked up 44.5 points.
The council credited Rhode Island with adopting appliance energy efficiency standards and having a relatively robust energy building code.
Massachusetts did well across the board and scored a perfect 7 out of 7 for its building code and 3 out of 3 for appliance standards. The report noted that the Bay State’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council approved targets that would triple participation in electricity efficiency programs.
“In 2009 energy efficiency has risen to a new level of recognition in the U.S.,” the report says. “It is a core component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is a resource that is increasingly being called upon at the state level. The heightened awareness demonstrates that energy efficiency – the kilowatt-hours and gallons of gasoline that we don’t use due to improved technology and practices – is accurately being recognized as the cheapest, cleanest and quickest energy resource to deploy.”
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a nonprofit research and policy group dedicated to promoting energy efficiency. To learn more, visit aceee.org.