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Massachusetts Unseats California as National Leader on Energy Efficiency

For the first time in the life of its energy efficiency scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named a state other than California in the number one spot. In a first guest post, Jeremy McDiarmid, Massachusetts Director of Barr-grantee Environment Northeast talks about what it took and what it means that Massachusetts is now the national leader on energy efficiency.

Yesterday Massachusetts was recognized as the top state in the country for its energy efficiency policies and programs. This distinction came from the Washington D.C. based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in its annual State Efficiency Scorecard. We asked Jeremy McDiarmid Massachusetts Director of Barr-grantee Environment Northeast (ENE) to put this into context for us. The Barr Foundation is proud to have supported organizations that have been central to policy development and also to the ambitious and ongoing work of implementation that led to this great affirmation – including ENE Green Justice Coalition, Renew Boston, and many others.

This is the fifth year of ACEEE's Scorecard and the first time that a state other than California has earned the top spot. This ranking affirms the energy choices Massachusetts has made: prioritizing cost-effective energy efficiency as the lowest-cost cleanest energy resource emphasizing the importance of a strong diverse stakeholder council to coordinate and spearhead the effort and committed program administrators. The 2008 Green Communities Act signaled a new approach‰ÛÓone that makes energy efficiency a priority resource set ambitious goals for achieving all efficiency that is cost-effective and puts Massachusetts on track to create $6 billion in economic benefits for consumers in the Commonwealth. Governor Deval Patrick traveled to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to represent Massachusetts in this major achievement.

Achieving the top spot has been the work of many people in the Patrick Administration state electric and gas utilities which administer programs and many stakeholders. While this ranking is a sign of great progress it in no way means that the work is done in the Commonwealth—opportunities for continued and expanded efficiency investment remain high and challenges exist but we are optimistic about building on these successes to date.

Guest Post by Jeremy McDiarmid Environment Northeast

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