Massachusetts the best state at keeping energy use at bay
Massachusetts and Mississippi landed at opposite ends of the energy-efficiency spectrum today in a report that names the states with the best and worst records at implementing energy-saving programs. It was the second year in a row that Massachusetts has been the high scorer on the list from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Energy efficiency is “our cheapest, cleanest, and fastest energy resource,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel in a news release. “Energy efficiency improvements help businesses, governments, and consumers meet their needs by using less energy, saving them money, driving investment across all sectors of the economy, creating much-needed jobs, and reducing environmental impacts.”
Following Massachusetts at the top of the list were California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota. The 10 states at the bottom, starting with the least efficient, were Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Nebraska. The results are based on the examination of six of the primary policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency.
If this sounds like a lot of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, consider the energy savings, which the ACEE says were roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity used in the state of Wyoming each year. But you don’t have to wait for your state to take action. Here are some things the ACEEE says you can do today.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.
- Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
- Survey your incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with CFLs or LEDs. The best targets are 60-100W bulbs used several hours a day. Check our lightbulb Ratings for the best choices.
- Check the age and condition of your major appliances, especially the refrigerator. You may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model before it dies.
- Clean or replace furnace, air-conditioner, and heat-pump filters.
For more long-term energy-saving ideas and projects read the ACEEE’s Home Energy Checklist and then Test your energy IQ at Consumer Reports.