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Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the Commonwealth has been named the most energy efficient state in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the seventh consecutive year. Massachusetts continues to receive top marks for its energy efficiency policies and programs, particularly the energy efficiency programs offered by the Commonwealth’s utilities under the Mass Save® brand and for promoting smart growth development in cities and towns. The full 2017 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard can be found here.
“As Massachusetts continues to make historic investments and progress in clean energy development, energy efficiency remains the most cost-effective method of reducing ratepayer costs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is proud to lead the nation in energy efficiency policies and programs, and over the last year our administration has focused on increasing access for low- and moderate-income ratepayers, while investing in innovative peak demand reduction projects that will provide significant environmental and economic benefits to the Commonwealth.”
“By partnering with the Commonwealth’s municipalities and utilities, we have embraced energy efficiency as a key factor in securing an affordable, resilient and clean energy future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts’ top ranking represents tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and significant progress across the Commonwealth in reducing our energy usage.”
The ACEEE Scorecard measures states on six categories of energy efficiency policy and programs, including utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government policies, and appliance standards. Key to Massachusetts’ ongoing leadership is its utility-run nation-leading energy efficiency programs. The Commonwealth’s current 2016-2018 Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, approved in 2016, sets nation-leading goals for energy savings, with goals of 2.94% of electric sales and 1.24% of gas sales, with an estimated $8 billion in savings.
“From LEED certified state buildings to municipal partnerships to convert to high efficiency LED streetlights, the Baker-Polito Administration is committed to leading by example in embracing energy efficiency,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Energy efficiency plays a critical role in achieving our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate change mitigation goals, and the Commonwealth will continue its leadership while progressing towards energy, environmental and economic goals.”
“The Commonwealth’s Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plans set the national standard for effective energy efficiency programs that result in billions of dollars of benefits for consumers,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council to develop and implement energy efficiency plans that result in clean, affordable energy across Massachusetts.”
In April, Governor Baker announced $10 million in funding for a suite of six new programs aimed at increasing affordable access to clean energy and energy efficiency programs, part of the Administration’s $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy (AACEE) Initiative. Additionally, DOER recently announced over $4.6 million in grants to 9 innovative peak demand reduction projects seeking to demonstrate business models that include both geographically targeted reductions to avoid and delay electric transmission and distribution investments, and broader strategies in electricity and gas peak load reduction. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s 2016 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report found that the energy efficiency industry currently employs over 52,000 people in Massachusetts, representing half of all clean energy jobs.
“We’re pleased to announce that Massachusetts placed first in the State Scorecard for the seventh consecutive year in 2017,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE. “The Bay State’s leadership on energy efficiency across a range of policy areas continues to serve as a valuable example to other states, thanks to ambitious savings targets that help drive some of the most comprehensive efficiency services in the country.”
“We’re thrilled that ACEEE has once again recognized Massachusetts as the most energy efficient state in the nation, and we’re very proud to be part of such a successful collaboration,” said Eversource SVP and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner,and National Grid Massachusetts President Cordi O'Hara jointly on behalf of Mass Save®. “We congratulate the Commonwealth on this significant recognition and will continue our efforts to keep the state atop this impressive list.”
Last December, the Baker-Polito Administration, working with regional planning authorities, launched the $11.4 million Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program to convert over 100,000 municipally owned traditional streetlights to high efficiency LEDs. Streetlights are operational during early morning and late afternoon during the winter months. These are hours of peak electric demand, and high demand for natural gas for both electric generation and home heating during these hours leads to higher energy prices. Converting streetlights to LED technology, which uses up to 60% less energy than standard streetlights, can decrease demand and lead to lower energy prices for all ratepayers.
“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency through effective policies, regulation, and funding commitments that continue from one administration to the next,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). We should be proud of the record we have built by working together to increase energy efficiency goals and implement smart, effective legislation. One of the Senate’s priorities has always been to battle climate change for a sustainable green energy future.”
“Conserving energy is an important and cost-effective strategy to save money and help our environment,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Massachusetts is leading on this front because our state has a strong combination of plans, regulations, incentives and public c awareness that have created a culture that prioritizes the goal of saving before consuming.”
“I’m so pleased that, once again, the Commonwealth’s focus on energy efficiency has been recognized as top in the country,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “In order to meet the legal requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act, we must continue to make energy efficiency a pillar of our state and local emissions reductions plans. I look forward to Massachusetts further embracing a clean energy future, protecting our ratepayers, safeguarding our environment and leading the way in sustainability practices.”
“I am proud of this ranking which affirms that Massachusetts’ comprehensive energy strategy can be a model for other states,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Our state continues to lead the way in reducing energy usage, promoting green energy jobs and saving ratepayers money through our energy efficiency programs.”
“Energy efficiency is a key component of the Commonwealth’s strategy to lower our energy usage, help customers save money on their bills, and move the state forward into a green energy economy,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “I applaud Governor Baker, Secretary Beaton, Commissioner Judson, and the utilities for a nation-leading energy efficiency program, and I look forward to working with them to continue its success.”
“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in promoting and implementing energy efficient state policies,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “Receiving the top ranking on ACEEE’s annual scorecard for the seventh consecutive year is a testament to both the Commonwealth’s and the Administration’s ongoing commitment to delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy options to the residents of Massachusetts.”
In 2016, the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards voted unanimously to adopt the latest national model building energy code together with a streamlined update to the Massachusetts stretch energy code. This code update keeps the Commonwealth on the leading edge in adopting the latest national model energy code, allowing Massachusetts to attain full points in this ACEEE Scorecard category, as well as offering towns and cities the opportunity to adopt a stretch energy code. To date, 205 municipalities have elected to adopt the stretch energy code, a key component of receiving a Green Communities designation.