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Thursday, October 14, 2010

South Dakota 39th in Energy Efficiency Policy

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has just published its 2010 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. In terms of policies to promote energy efficiency, South Dakota ranks 39th, down three notches from 2009.

ACEEE looks at six areas to calculate this scorecard:
  1. utility and public benefits programs and policies
  2. transportation policies
  3. building energy codes
  4. combined heat and power
  5. state government initiatives
  6. appliance efficiency standards
Out of a total of 50 points to be earned across those six categories, South Dakota scored just 9.5 points. Looking at information from our Public Utilities Commission and the federal Energy Information Administration, ACEEE finds South Dakota's utilities are lagging in customer energy efficiency programs. The PUC and utility partners are working to pick up the slack with the SD Energy Smart program. Our utilities did almost quadruple their spending on energy efficiency programs, from $650,000 in 2007 to $2.5 million in 2008. However, we lack any formal state policy defining energy efficiency as a resource in utility and regulatory decision-making. South Dakota also has no long-term targets for reduction of energy use. We also got a paltry half-point for our building energy codes and zero points for policies promoting more efficient transportation or appliance efficiency standards.

ACEEE 2010 Energy Efficiency Scorecard: map of state rankingsAs 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.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, just looked this over. Striking parallels to the electoral college map!


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