Massachusetts ranked most energy efficient state, Wyoming worst: study

Massachusetts ranked most energy efficient state, Wyoming worst: study
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Massachusetts and California are leading the country in energy efficiency standards according to a study released Thursday.

The coastal states’ investments in energy saving targets, electric vehicles and efficient building standards helped them lead the annual study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Massachusetts took the top spot for the eighth year in a row due to a number of state programs that encouraged consumers to invest in energy efficiency. Following closely behind, California ranked second on the list thanks to incentives it offers for energy efficient schools, residences and industries.

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"We will continue to adopt and pursue measures that deliver billions of dollars in savings to our residents and businesses each year,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) in a statement. “Massachusetts remains committed to leveraging energy efficiency and clean energy to meet climate goals, reduce costs and grow the Commonwealth’s economy.”

The study ranked states based on six areas ranging from transportation to statewide incentives to building energy efficiency policies.

Energy efficiency is a hot topic as the Trump administration has made a number of sweeping changes to the way it regulates emissions from coal and industrial plants--in the majority of cases weakening standards for air pollution. In turn, a number of states have reacted by instituting their own energy standards to drive more renewable energy usage and electricity savings overall.

Some of those new initiatives are what helped drive states higher in the rankings, according to the study. New Jersey improved the most, moving up five ranks to 18th place largely due to new annual energy savings targets and steps toward rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap and trade program.

Other states that made marked improvements to their energy savings were Missouri, Connecticut, Colorado, South Dakota, Nevada and North Carolina.  

States that trailed behind on the rankings included many heavy fossil fuel producers. North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming ranked last.

Wyoming’s low ratings were largely due to a dearth of statewide programs including the lack of energy efficiency standards, policies on efficient transportation options and overall research.