MN Tops in Midwest for Energy Efficiency
Thursday, October 12, 2017
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota gets the number one spot in the Midwest in a new report from the American Council on an Energy Efficient Economy.
The state ranks ninth in the nation, up one place from last year.
The council comes up with its rankings by comparing states' building codes, transportation, appliance standards, utility programs and other state initiatives that encourage energy savings.
"In the U.S., a lot of the innovation and a lot of the driving forces behind energy efficiency really occur at the state level,” says Weston Berg an analyst with the council, who worked on the report. “We hope as part of the state scorecard, by tracking each state's efficiency policies, we can kind of create some friendly competition between states, as well as highlight some best practices."
The scorecard puts Massachusetts first and North Dakota last in terms of energy efficiency policies.
Will Nissen, director of energy performance with the Minnesota advocacy group Fresh Energy, says state and local policies are what encourage people to be energy conscious, citing recycling programs and low-interest loans for businesses that install energy retrofits.
"The cheapest and cleanest energy we have is what you don't use,” he states. “And so, if you don't use a kilowatt hour of electricity or a therm of natural gas, with at least the system we've had for a long time, a lot of that generation you're avoiding is polluting, it's fossil fuel based."
It's been 10 years since the bipartisan Next Generation Energy bill was signed into law.
Nissen says the 2007 energy law requires utilities to meet a clean energy standard. States that adopt these goals do best in energy efficiency.
"It's fantastic to see Minnesota as top in the Midwest and really the top anywhere between the two coasts, but you know, we want to do better next year," he states.
Nissen says the state leads by example, with energy efficient public buildings and vehicle fleets, and by paying attention to energy efficiency in state-funded contracts.
get more stories like this via email
Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…
Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …
A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…
In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…
By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …
A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…