Massachusetts Leads the Nation in Energy Efficiency for Fourth Consecutive Year
BOSTON – Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced that for the fourth year in a row, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts first in the nation for energy efficiency policies and programs. Governor Patrick joined ACEEE on a nationwide conference call as it announced the annual state-by-state scorecard.
“Massachusetts is proud to lead the nation in energy efficiency for the fourth straight year,” said Governor Patrick. “We have treated efficiency as our first fuel because saving energy, managing costs and reducing environmental impacts while building a stronger cleantech economy helps fulfill our responsibility to future generations to leave a strong Commonwealth than we found.”
The Patrick Administration continues to expand on proven strategies and create new approaches to help businesses, cities and towns, institutions, homeowners, renters and low-income residents save energy and manage costs. Investments made by the Patrick Administration have created clean energy jobs, reduced reliance on foreign sources of energy and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The Commonwealth's energy efficiency and clean energy goals were outlined when Governor Patrick signed the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008. ACEEE continues to highlight the Green Communities Act as a central component to Massachusetts’ achievements as it requires the state’s investor owned electric and natural gas utilities to prepare energy efficiency plans and pursue “all cost effective energy efficiency.”
“This recognition is a direct result of Governor Patrick’s leadership, in collaboration with the Legislature, to develop programs investing in all cost-effective energy efficiency,” said Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. “Across state government, municipalities and in our businesses and homes – Massachusetts has made reducing our energy use a priority.”
According to the Scorecard, “Massachusetts retained the top spot in the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard rankings for the fourth year in a row, having overtaken California in 2011, based on its continued commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act of 2008. Among other things, the legislation spurred greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through efficiency measures.”
“For the last four years, under the leadership of Governor Patrick, Massachusetts has set the energy efficiency gold standard for states,” said Maggie Molina, ACEEE Utilities, State and Local Policy Program Director. “Massachusetts has proven that it is possible to save more energy each year while creating jobs, boosting the economy, and ensuring a cleaner environment for years to come. ”
Massachusetts earned a perfect score in the Utility & Public Benefits Programs and Policies category of the Scorecard, which accounts for 20 of the Scorecard’s 50 points. Massachusetts’ successful programs are the result of collaboration between the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, energy efficiency Program Administrators and sponsors of Mass Save®.
“This fourth #1 ranking is a great source of pride for Massachusetts, where we have made energy efficiency a top resource,” said DOER Acting Commissioner Meg Lusardi. “We lead by example and work with all stakeholders to create opportunities for residents and businesses to reduce their energy use and costs through new technology as well as tried and true techniques.”
"Energy efficiency's benefits go beyond greenhouse gas reductions and lower energy costs - it has become a true economic driver in the Commonwealth," said CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Alicia Barton. "Because of the investments Massachusetts has made, there are more than 4,000 companies with over 65,000 workers inventing, delivering, and exporting energy efficiency technologies to national and global markets. "
The Green Communities Act required investor-owned utilities to pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency – making energy efficiency Massachusetts’ “first fuel” for meeting energy demand. The 2013-2015 Statewide Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plans, credited in the report, are expected to deliver energy benefits of nearly $9 billion to residents, businesses, and state and local governments based on an investment of $2.8 billion. ACEEE’s state scores are calculated based on utility efficiency programs and policy, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power projects, state government initiatives and appliance efficiency standards.
Further reducing the use of fossil fuels and securing the Commonwealth’s energy future, the Patrick Administration has made investments in renewable energy. In 2007, Massachusetts had just over 3 megawatts each of solar and wind capacity installed. Today there are more than 650 megawatts of solar installed, with a goal of 1,600 megawatts by 2020. The Commonwealth has installed 106 megawatts of land-based wind and are poised to be home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm.
In September 2014, the Governor Patrick announced the 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, showing that clean energy sector now includes more than 88,000 employees and nearly 6,000 businesses. The clean energy sector in Massachusetts grew by 10.5 percent, the fourth year of double digit growth. Energy efficiency is now the job of more than 65,000 workers in Massachusetts.