A sour U.S. economy and tight state budgets have not slowed the growing momentum among U.S. states toward increased energy efficiency, according to a scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which assesses policy and programs to improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industry, and transportation.

The ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard shows the top 10 states for energy efficiency are:

  • Massachusetts (taking the #1 position for the first time)
  • California (slipping from the top spot it held for the past four years)
  • New York State
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington State
  • Rhode Island
  • Minnesota
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland

The 10 states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are:

  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Mississippi
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • Missouri
  • Alabama
  • South Dakota

The ACEEE Scorecard also found the following trends:

  • Twenty-nine states have either adopted or have made significant progress toward the adoption of the latest energy-saving building codes for homes and commercial properties — up from 20 in 2010 and 10 in 2009.
  • Twenty-four states have adopted an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard setting long-term energy savings targets.
  • A group of leading states remains ahead of the curve in adopting policies to reduce vehicle miles traveled and promote the purchase and manufacture of efficient vehicles. A major gap exists, however, as over half the states have minimal or no policies to encourage efficiency in the transportation sector.