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Kentucky Noted as 'Most-Improved' in Annual Energy Efficiency Rankings

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An energy policy non-profit today released its annual ranking of states by energy efficiency programs.Though Kentucky is still in the bottom half of the list, it was recognized as one of the “most-improved” states.Indiana, on the other hand, fell the furthest and is currently ranked 40th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a D.C.-based non-profit that works to advance energy efficient policies. Energy efficiency is widely seen as one of the best ways to reduce pollution and combat climate change; if you use less energy to produce the same benefits, that’s less coal or natural gas that has to be burned. Common ways of doing this include state and utility-based incentives to reduce energy waste, like using updated appliances and weatherizing homes.“Energy efficiency can offer billions in savings, lower emissions of carbon dioxide as well as other pollutants, build jobs, a real win-win-win for the country, and of course, provide us with a big down payment on addressing climate change,” U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan said during a conference call to announce this year’s ACEEE rankings.This year, Kentucky was ranked 33rd in the nation—up from 39th last year. That was a big enough jump to be recognized by the organization as one of the most-improved states.ACEEE report author Annie Gilleo said Kentucky’s success is mostly due to building codes.“They’re in the process of adopting the most up-to-date commercial building energy code. And that’s a great way to save energy across the entire state,” she said.While Kentucky’s efforts got recognition, the biggest drop in rankings among all 50 states and D.C. was in Indiana. Last year, the state was ranked 27th. This year, it dropped to 40th.Gilleo said that’s mainly because of a legislative measure passed earlier this yearto roll back Indiana’s energy efficiency resource standard, which set long-term targets for energy savings achieved through efficiency programs.“So while we are seeing signs that utilities will likely continue to implement efficiency programs, even without these formal goals, those savings are likely going to be lower than was required under the efficiency resource standard,” Gilleo said.For the fourth year in a row, Massachusetts was ranked first in the ACEEE rankings and California second. North Dakota was ranked last.Click here to read the full report.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.