Building codes and utility mandates have propelled California and Massachusetts to national leadership on energy efficiency, according to the American Council For an Energy-Efficient Economy's recent state rankings.
Both states improved their overall scores from last year. Massachusetts scored 19.5 out of 20 in utility policy, while perfect scores for appliance efficiency standards and transportation policy helped California tie the Bay State.
California had a notable increase in electricity savings largely due to policies designed to ramp up energy efficiency programs, the ACEEE report says. Two recent programs, funding of energy efficiency projects in schools, and a recently implemented cap-and-trade program under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, contributed to the state’s performance.
Massachusetts increased its electricity efficiency targets to almost 3%, and adopted the newest International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE standards as part of the state’s newest building energy codes. Massachusetts' Green Communities Act of 2008 continues to drive much of the state's savings, ACEEE said, spurring additional investment in energy efficiency programs by requiring utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through efficiency measures.