Louisiana ranks near the bottom in the nation for energy efficiency, according to the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released Tuesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
This is the 10th edition and looks at utility and public benefit programs, transportation policies, combined heat and power policies, state and local government-led energy efficiency programs, and appliance and equipment standards.
"Over the last 10 years, many if not most innovative energy efficiency methods originate at the state level," said Weston Berg, lead author of the report with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Louisiana ranks 47th out of 51 because of the inclusion of Washington D.C., earning 6.5 points out of 50 possible for things like transportation policies, appliance efficiency standards and government initiatives. Louisiana improved a little from last year's ranking of 48, but fell from the 44th rankings in 2014 and 2015.
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The state scored low in almost all of the categories. For example, Louisiana scored a zero out of 3 points under electric efficiency program spending by the state. In 2015, Louisiana spent $13.5 million in energy efficiency programs, which is 0.20 percent of the statewide electricity revenues compared to Vermont, which spent $54.4 million or 6.89 percent of statewide electricity revenue on these programs.
Increasing energy efficiency is one of the ways states can help meet requirements in the Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas releases from power plants. The future of the Clean Power Plan is uncertain as it's being challenged through the court system with arguments starting Tuesday before the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.
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California and Massachusetts tied for the top of the list thanks to strong state policies to help increase energy efficiency programs like the California Clean Jobs Act, which sets aside money for energy efficiency projects in schools.
"Leading in this shows the nation that using energy wisely is a good investment in the economy and the environment," said Andrew McAllister, commissioner with the California Energy Commission.
Report was done with support from the U.S. Department of Energy.