PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island has been ranked third in the nation for energy efficiency programs and policy, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
The annual ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard assesses state policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries and transportation systems. Cost-effective energy efficiency is a critical tool for putting downward pressure on electric and natural gas prices, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and spurring economic growth in the clean energy economy. Rhode Island has ranked in the top 10 for the past 10 years, rising one position compared to last year's scorecard.
"I'm proud that Rhode Island is leading the nation in the green economy," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Energy efficiency programs help all of us — including residents, businesses, cities, towns and State government — to save money on our energy bills, reduce our carbon footprint and add to the 15,000 clean energy jobs in our clean energy economy. Rhode Island's third place ranking in this report, up from fourth last year, demonstrates that our investments in electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs are paying off."
According to the report, "Rhode Island continues to rank high among the top states, with National Grid meeting ambitious savings targets through successful programs outlined in its three-year Least Cost Procurement Plan. The state has shown a strong commitment to reducing energy waste across almost all policy sectors."
Rhode Island earned points in the following areas:
•Utilities – Rhode Island earned a perfect score for its utility policies and programs by setting and achieving aggressive energy savings targets in both electricity and natural gas. This is the fourth year in a row that the State earned a perfect score in this category.
•Government-Led Initiatives – Rhode Island's public sector was recognized for contributing to the State's energy efficiency successes. Guided by Governor Raimondo's Lead by Example Executive Order on energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives, the government instructs state facilities to reduce power consumption and lower emissions, which provides an example for municipalities, businesses, organizations and citizens to follow. Along with new and innovative energy efficiency financing options offered through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, Ocean State cities and towns are doing their part to reduce energy usage by converting local streetlights to LEDs and making public buildings more energy efficient.
•Building Policies – In Rhode Island, residential and commercial building construction must comply with high energy efficiency standards. In addition, numerous activities are helping building code officials and contractors improve building code compliance.
•Transportation – Rhode Island was recognized in this category for setting tailpipe emission standards, creating a rebate program in 2016 for electric vehicles and integrating transportation and land-use planning initiatives.
The full report may be downloaded at http://aceee.org/state-policy/scorecard.
About the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources: The Office of Energy Resources (OER) is Rhode Island's lead state agency on energy policy and programs. The mission of OER is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate price volatility, and improve environmental quality. By developing and implementing smart energy policies—such as those that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy—OER helps advance Rhode Island as a national leader in the new clean energy economy.