ACEEE looks at six areas to calculate this scorecard:
- utility and public benefits programs and policies
- transportation policies
- building energy codes
- combined heat and power
- state government initiatives
- appliance efficiency standards
As you can see, we're a low median among our neighbors. North Dakota ranks dead last, with Wyoming and Nebraska not far from the bottom. Montana is closer to the national middle at 33rd, while Iowa and Minnesota distinguish themselves at 12th and 8th, respectively.
The most improved states are not necessarily hippie havens. Utah and Arizona jumped up 11 spots, while New Mexico and Alaska climbed eight steps in the rankings. (Alaska probably rose six steps just when Sarah Palin resigned.)
The report authors note that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has boosted state energy efficiency programs with over $11 billion. But many states may see their progress toward energy efficiency stymied in the next couple years as they slash budgets to deal with deficits.
Free registration will let you download the full report here.