PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NUMBER ONE RANKING IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Massachusetts remains number one in the nation in energy efficiency for second year
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, October 3, 2012 – The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that for the second year in a row the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts as the number one state for energy efficiency policies and programs. Massachusetts Undersecretary for Energy Barbara Kates-Garnick joined ACEEE as it announced the annual state-by-state scorecard in Washington D.C.
Under Governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts has continued its expansion on traditional energy policy and taken innovative approaches to investing in energy savings, creating clean energy jobs, and reducing reliance on foreign sources of energy, while cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“We are proud to have maintained the number one spot in the nation because of our continued focus on innovation and investments in energy efficiency,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. “Our Green Communities Act is cutting our dependence on imported energy sources, creating jobs and leading the way to a more sustainable energy future for Massachusetts.”
For the second time, Massachusetts topped California in ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. California held the top slot on the national scorecard for the first four years. ACEEE ranked Massachusetts fourth in 2006, but the Commonwealth reached number two in 2009 and held that slot for two years, before reaching number one in 2011.
The Commonwealth's energy efficiency and clean energy goals were outlined when Governor Patrick signed the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008. ACEEE again highlighted the Green Communities Act as central to Massachusetts’ achievements.
“Massachusetts retained the top spot in the State Scorecard rankings for the second year in a row, having overtaken California last year, based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act of 2008,” according to the report. “The Act laid the foundation for greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring gas and electric utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through energy efficiency.”
The scores were calculated based on utility efficiency programs and policy, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power projects, state government initiatives and appliance efficiency standards
“Governor Patrick’s commitment to energy efficiency has earned us this honor for the second consecutive year,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “Working with our legislative, utility, environmental and community partners, we have made significant progress toward our energy goals for the Commonwealth.”
"Our policies and investments have already yielded terrific results and we have challenged the status quo to create a cleaner and safer future for Massachusetts," said Undersecretary Kates-Garnick. "We are proud of this recognition and honored to be a model for the nation and the world in energy efficiency."
The Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which is a result of the Green Communities Act, uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks including adoption of energy efficient building and planning practices.
To date, the 103 Green Communities have committed to a five-year total energy reduction equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 13,358 homes, approximately the same size as the town of Bedford. This commitment equates to eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions from 22,556 cars.
The Green Communities Act required investor-owned utilities to pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency – making energy efficiency Massachusetts’ “first fuel” for meeting energy demand. The resulting 2010-2012 Statewide Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plans are expected to deliver energy benefits of $6 billion to residents, businesses, and state and local governments based on an investment of $2 billion.
In 2011, the second year of the plans, the Mass Save® programs delivered savings equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 109,707 households and equivalent to the annual natural gas usage of more than 14,883 households. In addition, measures implemented under the plans produced greenhouse gas emissions reductions equal to eliminating 84,681 cars.
At the end of October, the second three year energy efficiency plan, for 2013-2015, will be filed.
“We have embraced energy efficiency in many ways,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “We are saving energy in state buildings through our Leading by Example program, supporting the expansion of combined heat and power systems, exploring new ways to increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases in transportation, and embracing building energy codes. Energy efficiency truly is our ‘first fuel.’”
“Massachusetts retained the top spot in the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rankings for the second year in a row, based largely on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act of 2008," said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel. "Massachusetts leads the nation in utility energy efficiency programs and in efficiency initiatives in the public sector, and is among the leaders in such areas as building energy codes and transportation policies that promote efficiency. These efforts reduce energy bills and energy-related environmental impacts while creating much-needed jobs.”
“Massachusetts’ innovative clean energy economy is bustling. Our energy efficiency programs and policies celebrated today have fueled this growth creating a sector that employs more than 40,000 workers in 2,600 companies statewide and grew by 10 percent over the past year,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt.
In August 2012, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced Massachusetts’ clean energy economy grew by 11.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012. According to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report the growing sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy firms across Massachusetts.