Most and Least Energy Efficient States: Where Does Your State Rank?
The average cost of electricity in 2022 will be 8% higher than it was in 2021, according to estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA).1 On top of that, the EIA expected the annual demand for energy to increase by 2.7% in the U.S. this year, thanks in part to a hotter-than-usual summer.2
Consumers are feeling the pinch as the cost of energy skyrockets and demand remains strong, so it comes as no surprise that more consumers and local governments are wondering how they can conserve energy to keep heating and cooling costs low and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Of course, individuals can take steps to increase the energy efficiency of their homes by upgrading appliances, lights and other home systems (like HVACs) to energy-efficient models. However, the weight remains on state governments to implement crucial energy-centric policies like renewable energy generation targets, public benefits programs, cleaner transportation plans and more.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization, has measured and ranked energy efficiency in each state based on 32 unique metrics.
How does your state stack up? Below, you can see how each state excels and where there’s room to improve.
Energy Efficiency Rankings by State
The ACEEE has researched the unique policies, initiatives and advancements in energy efficiency for each state to determine a nationwide ranking system.
- California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia and Nevada earned the highest energy efficiency scores in their respective regions.
- Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming scored the lowest, each earning 7 or fewer points out of the possible 50.
- No state earned a perfect 50-point score, indicating that there is room for improvement in every state.
- The global COVID-19 pandemic stalled some progress for energy efficiency in the U.S. in 2020 but did not halt efforts entirely.
About the Scoring
The ACEEE holistically ranks states on their energy efficiency efforts and tracks new policies and initiatives that aim to minimize energy use in each state.
The ACEEE analysis of each state is broken down into five categories. Each state is assigned a rating for each category, with a cumulative maximum score of 50. The five categories are as follows:
|Utility and public benefits programs and policies||Does the state have an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) or another form of Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS)?|
|Transportation Policies||Has the state adopted Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards and a Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program? Has the state set goals to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation?|
|Building Energy Efficiency Policies||Has the state made strides toward increasing efficiency standards for new construction?|
|State Government-Led Energy Efficiency Initiatives||Does the state offer loan and/or grant programs to encourage energy savings? Has the state set efficiency standards for public buildings? Has the state created and funded energy efficiency programs? This can include school, industrial, residential and public projects.|
|Appliances and Equipment Standards||Does the state have high appliance and equipment efficiency standards?|
Visit the ACEEE website to view the full report and read an in-depth explanation of each state’s energy-efficient initiatives and advancements.