Delaware is one of six states in the country recognized for strong improvements in green energy initiatives.
A widespread lack of green in our wallets is not discouraging Delaware from paving the way to an increasingly green future.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its third annual scorecard for the nation’s energy efficiency programs and policy performance on Wednesday at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Delaware ranked well with strong improvements this year, climbing from last year’s 32nd spot in the nation’s rankings to 20th. This rapid growth put the first state at the top of a six state “Most Improved” list on the scorecard.
The ACEEE also recognized the top 10 states showcased as “living laboratories” of energy efficiency in the nation. These states, in order of ranking, are California, Massachussetts, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Vermont, Washington, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Maine.
Governor Jack Markell (D) spoke at Wednesday’s conference, emphasizing the key role of energy efficiency on the country’s economic security saying “This is very much about creating jobs.”
With the current unemployment rate reaching 9.8% in the United States and a total of 64,000 construction jobs being shed in September, stronger emphasis is being placed on the role of energy efficiency on state level job creation.
Energy efficiency is also a top priority for the Obama Administration. Cathy Zoi, assistant secretary of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program in the Department of Energy, spoke at Wednesday’s press conference about the federal initiatives at stake. “We can only advance our objectives in energy security, national security, creating jobs and environmental improvement when we work closely and cooperatively with the states,” Zoi said.
Under the ACEEE scorecard regulations, states can earn up to 50 points each year in six energy efficient categories including utility-sector and public benefits programs, transportation policies, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government initiatives and appliance efficiency standards.
In the past nine months, Delaware has set mandatory consumption reduction targets of 15% by 2015, adopted new energy efficient building codes, required the coupling of utility rates and established the Delaware sustainable energy utility, which is a non-profit organization that delivers energy efficient services to households and businesses. Governor Jack Markell says it is all about building on Delaware’s legacy of innovation.
Governor Markell says the ACEEE scorecard is an important way to provide an energy efficient blueprint for states to follow while fostering a friendly spirit of competition. “As we make progress in our individual states, we make progress in our whole country,” Markell said.
For detailed information on energy efficiency activity on a state level, visit ACEEE’s state policy online database