State Receives No. 2 Ranking for Utility-Sector Energy Efficiency Programs and Policies
Providence, RI – In the 2013 edition of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) State Scorecard, Rhode Island has been ranked as the sixth most energy efficient state in the country, up from seventh in 2012. This is the state's sixth year in the top 10. Rhode Island also now ranks second in utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies, after Massachusetts and before Vermont. (It placed fourth in 2012.)
"Energy efficiency plays a vital role in helping to reduce the cost of energy for Rhode Island homeowners, businesses and industry," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "We are committed to continued investment in energy efficiency as our first fuel, which will grow jobs and protect our environment."
The Rhode Island Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council recently submitted proposed savings targets to the Public Utilities Commission, which, on the electric side, would take Rhode Island from 2.05 percent (of 2012 sales) in 2013 to a nation-leading 2.60 percent in 2017. Rhode Island also leads the country in efficiency investments with 7.61 percent of statewide utility revenues allocated to electric efficiency and $60.67 per residential customer earmarked for natural gas efficiency. Along with California and Washington, Rhode Island is also leading the way on building energy codes and compliance.
"As Rhode Island's economy recovers, strategic investments in our lowest-cost energy resource—energy efficiency—is a win-win-win strategy for our state to spur job creation, reduce the cost of living and doing business and reduce our carbon footprint," Richard A. Licht, Director of Administration, said.
In 2012, every $1 invested in energy efficiency generated more than $2 in benefits to Rhode Island homeowners, businesses and institutions. The 2012 Energy Efficiency Program reached over 200,000 participants, which will save 1.25 billion kWh of electricity and 3,263,490 MMBTUs of natural gas. Implementation of the program will yield economic benefits exceeding $183 million and avoided the emission of nearly 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2013 Energy Efficiency Program is projected to deliver economic benefits of $231 million; add $469 million to the Gross State Product; and create 4,100 job-years of employment.
"Thanks to Rhode Island's innovative efficiency policies and the ongoing commitment of the Chafee Administration and the General Assembly, energy efficiency remains a powerful least-cost economic strategy to keep energy dollars in state, spur job creation and reduce our environmental footprint," Marion S. Gold, Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, said. "Rhode Island continues to have an aggressive state energy savings strategy driven by legislation that requires National Grid, the state's primary electric and gas distribution utility, to invest in all cost-effective energy efficiency through customer assistance programs."
Energy efficiency programs are on the rise in states throughout the nation. For the first time in the history of the State Scorecard, the 2013 ranking of the states is being released with the participation of a U.S. Department of Energy secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, along with a top elected official of a state, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
"Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America's families," stated Dr. Ernest Moniz. "We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth."
The State Scorecard shows that the top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland and Illinois.
In the seventh edition of the State Scorecard, ACEEE ranks states on their energy efficiency policy and program efforts, and provides recommendations for ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in a variety of policy areas. The State Scorecard report serves as a benchmark for state efforts on energy efficiency policies and programs each year, encouraging states to strengthen their efficiency commitments as a pragmatic and effective strategy for promoting economic growth, securing environmental benefits, and increasing their communities' resilience in the face of uncertain energy costs and supplies.