NEW: Massachusetts Tops National Energy Efficiency Rankings
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
“We are proud to have maintained the number one spot in the nation because of our continued focus on innovation and investments in energy efficiency,” said Governor Deval Patrick.
“Our Green Communities Act is cutting our dependence on imported energy sources, creating jobs and leading the way to a more sustainable energy future for Massachusetts.”
Nearly half of Bay State residents live in a community that has undertaken initiatives to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.
The Patrick administration has awarded a total of $23.2 million over the course of five rounds of designation grants and one round of competitive grants for previously-designated Green Communities since the program began in 2008, following the passage of the Green Communities Act.
“Governor Patrick’s commitment to energy efficiency has earned us this honor for the second consecutive year,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan.
“Working with our legislative, utility, environmental and community partners, we have made significant progress toward our energy goals for the Commonwealth.”
The push for energy-efficiency on Beacon Hill has had positive effects on the state's economy and private sector jobs as well. In August 2012, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center reported that the Bay State's clean energy economy grew by 11.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012. According to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, the growing sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy firms across Massachusetts.
Wednesday's announcement marks the second time that Massachusetts has beat out California, which held the top spot for the first four years of the ACEEE's annual state-by-state scorecard.
According to the ACEEE, the Commonwealth's Green Communities Act was a driving force behind the state's rise to the top.
"Massachusetts leads the nation in utility energy efficiency programs and in efficiency initiatives in the public sector, and is among the leaders in such areas as building energy codes and transportation policies that promote efficiency," said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel.
"These efforts reduce energy bills and energy-related environmental impacts while creating much-needed jobs."
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