California tops the list of US states promoting energy efficiency policies, programs and practices, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont and New York, respectively, rank second through fifth on the ACEEE’s 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Minnesota and Massachusetts tie for seventh place and Wisconsin and New Jersey rate nineth and tenth. Idaho rated as the “most improved” state since the scorecard was initiated in 2006.
Several states were recognized for their progress since the scorcard was initiated in 2006. Idaho moved from 25th to 13th, Florida went from 29th to a tie for 19th place, Maryland went from 20th to 12th, Ohio, from 27th to a tie for 19th, Illinois, from 26th to a tie for 19th, Louisiana, from 42nd to 35th, Arkansas, from 45th to 38th, and Virginia, from 38th to 32nd.
The report ranks states on a broad array of energy efficiency policy initiatives, including utility-sector and public benefits efficiency programs and policies, transportation and land use policies, building energy codes, appliance efficiency standards, energy efficiency in public buildings and fleets and financial incentives for efficient technologies.
For consumers, the key to an energy efficient home may be finding the local, state and national incentives, rebates and other offers to finance the improvements. Now a new website, GreenMadeSimple.com, is making the task a little easier.
GreenMadeSimple.com offers a comprehensive database, searchable by zip code, that consumers can use tofind local residential incentives and rebates covering appliances, lighting, cars, home improvement and construction, energy audits, solar and other renewables, recycling and financing options. Consumers can also create an account to keep track of their projects, incentives and other offers.
Bob Ellis, CEO of GreenMadeSimple.com. said the site was designed to give homeowners “all the terms, instructions and applications in one easy search.” The site offers three main resources:
Incentives: Each month, this section is updated from hundreds of sources to bring users the latest and most relevant incentives and rebates for making energy efficiency updates to their home. In addition, Green Made Simple also streamlines the process by providing application forms, terms and time limits in an easy-to-use format.
Marketplace: The site offers listings of green businesses, products and services that are available both locally and nationally. Similar to the Incentives section, visitors access these resources by entering their zip code and then filtering the information based on a search area, business name, or category.
Projects: This section features stories posted by real people who have engaged in a residential energy saving project. Examples range from changing light bulbs in Virginia to installing a green roof in Indiana. Visitors can use this area to share their stories, get ideas and rate other projects.
According to the US Department of Energy, residential energy accounts for 21 percent of the national total energy consumption and costs American households more than $160 billion a year. It is estimated that energy efficiency improvements could save people 20 percent to 30 percent annually on their energy bills.
|5. New York|
|7. Massachusetts (tie)|
|7. Minnesota (tie)|
|10. New Jersey|