Great News! The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 2014 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for the nation and Massachusetts ranked #1 for the most efficient state. Looking at what steers leadership to manicured carbon footprints, are regulations, education and major dollar incentives in the form of grants, rebates, and energy programs which offer energy saving performance contracts to it's residents.
State buildings (owned or leased) were under executive order to reduce their overall energy consumption by 20% by fiscal year 2012 and by 35% by 2020. This order also requires that all new state construction and major renovations meet Massachusetts LEED Plus green building standards which requires them to perform 20% better than state agency code. This mandate along with the aforementioned incentives has really "cleaned house".
Along with these wonderful incentives, Massachusetts's Green Communities Division has also designed and implemented a web-based tool that helps residents make educated decisions about energy efficient investments. It provides them with gas, electricity and oil usage information and waste guidelines. Further, Massachusetts is a partner in the United States Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge, a voluntary program that sets and tracks energy goals and recognizes leading participants.
Then there are websites like www.masssave.com sponsored by Massachusetts utilities and gas companies which offer rebates, free energy audits, advice, assessments, training, money saving ideas and budget assistance to those who qualify.
Massachusetts should be proud of this accomplishment. Cleaner air, cleaner rivers, cleaner work places, less energy consumption, greater efficiency, less maintenance and more appropriately allocated state and personal dollars. It's a win, win, win, win, win!