Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states show strong commitment to accelerating energy efficiency
Lexington, MA, January 29, 2014 –The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions are seeing unprecedented savings in electricity and natural gas use, thanks to a combined commitment to invest over $2.5 billion dollars in energy efficiency through 2013, according to a new report released today by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). The third annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States examines overall policy trends, provides snapshots on state progress and pitfalls, and gauges states’ progress toward capturing cost-effective energy efficiency as the region’s first-order resource to help meet energy demand as cleanly and cheaply as possible.
“Over the last year, we saw states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic continue making solid advances by putting more of their energy dollars towards cost-effective efficiency as a first order resource,” said Natalie Treat, Policy Outreach Manager at NEEP. “Leading state such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York continued to set the bar higher. These smart states are reaching more customers with innovative, comprehensive efficiency programs — while keeping more energy resources in-state by turning them into good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector, rather than sending them up the chimney.”
"These states show robust and sustained support for energy efficiency program funding and are implementing policy and program innovations like building energy rating, new financing tools, improved program tracking and coordination, and evolving regulatory frameworks,” added Treat.
While not a ranking, the Roundup uses icons to denote a state’s overall progress in terms of best practices in efficiency policy and in the context of the state’s own recent history. Among state performances, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are “Leading the Pack,” while New Hampshire and New Jersey are “Falling Behind.” A new category – “Moving Ahead” – was added to this year’s list of icons. In addition to providing a snapshot of the entire region, The Roundup also offers summary and analysis of some of the biggest energy efficiency successes and setbacks in individual states, including key energy efficiency laws and regulations and changes in funding levels for energy efficiency programs.
“The Roundup is intended to give policymakers, program administrators, advocates, and other stakeholders a comparative view of building energy efficiency progress across the region in 2013,” said Jim O’Reilly, Director of Public Policy at NEEP. “Along with state-level highlights, this report reveals regional trends and shared challenges in harnessing the potential of energy efficiency to meet multiple public policy goals – controlling energy costs, improving system reliability, modernizing the electric grid, strengthening the economy, growing jobs, improving public health, and curbing harmful emissions.”
- The Northeast continues to lead the nation in innovative energy policy, public and private support and per capita investment in efficiency programs.
- Even in a slow economy, much of the region continues to ramp up efficiency, with investment levels expected to reach beyond $2.5 billion this year.
- All states in the region reaffirmed the importance of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by lowering the cap on emissions.
- States are grappling with the same challenges — how to fund efficiency for oil heated homes, how to coordinate state-wide programs to make access easier for customers, how to reach more homes and businesses, and how to go deeper with efficiency projects.
- In states like Maryland and New York, important proceedings were established that could revamp their energy efficiency portfolio standards. In states like Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island, important legislative and regulatory actions will allow their states to continue to expand investments in customer energy efficiency programs which will help drive down utility costs for all.
The full report including state-by-state information and regional data can be downloaded here.