ENVIRONMENT NOVEMBER 6, 2013
Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks states by energy efficiency, from first to fiftieth. Massachusetts took the top spot in 2013 for the third year running, while dead last went to North Dakota, which got 3.5 points out of a possible 50. The most heavily-weighted criteria (40 percent) was utility policies: The Bay State’s winning streak is thanks partly to its 2008 Green Communities Act, which sets benchmarks for the amount of energy utilities must save; and Ohio made the “most-improved” list because of strict new standards for energy suppliers. Other factors in the rankings included transportation policies, building codes, and state government initiatives. Mississippi, which gained points under the last rubric with an energy bill it passed this year, paradoxically managed to join the five most-improved while remaining one of the five lowest scorers.
And here, by comparison, is a map of last year's presidential election results. Note the similarity between states that President Obama won (in blue) and the darker-shaded, more energy-efficient states above.