10 Most Energy Efficient States in America

Solar panels

CHICAGO – SEPTEMBER 01: Solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity at an Exelon solar power facility on September 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The 10-megawatt facility located on the city’s south side is the largest urban solar installation in the United States. The 32,292 panels can generate more than 14,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the annual energy requirements of up to 1,500 homes. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Energy efficiency has been a buzzword for years now, and the U.S., despite an ongoing global conversation regarding energy conservation and climate change, continues to rank behind most developed nations when it comes to efficiency (the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, and Australia all top the U.S.).

A 2013 report, however, suggests that at the state level, anyway, the nation is making substantial progress toward more energy efficient practices: many states fall within just a few points of each other in the most recent rankings, and several jockeyed for a place in the top 10, hovering just below the rankings’ top tier.

The state energy efficiency scorecard, put together by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy, found that the U.S. is making rapid progress toward more sustainable and efficient energy usage. Of the 50 states, several have made huge improvements over the past year. Some states, though not listed amongst the top 10, have made such enormous progress as to be counted within their own category, “most improved.” These states include Maine, Mississippi, Kansas, Ohio and West Virginia, all of which have taken a number of legislative actions to improve their state’s energy efficiency in the past year.

The ACEEE energy efficiency scorecard ranked states based on “six policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency: utility and “public benefits” programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes and compliance; CHP policies; appliance and equipment standards; and state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency.”

Here they are, the top ten states using energy most wisely: