When it comes to energy efficiency, Massachusetts leads the nation and sets an example for all other states to follow. For the ninth consecutive year, the Commonwealth ranks first in the U.S. for its energy efficiency efforts. The rankings were released on Oct. 1 by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The group’s 13th annual Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks states based on a number of different categories, from public programs and state initiatives to transportation policies and appliance and equipment standards.
In its report, the ACEEE reveals that Massachusetts has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 percent since 1990. Its Department of Public Utilities has also approved a three-year energy efficiency plan, starting this year that includes an “expanded array of measures and targets to better align efficiency with statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals,” reports the ACEEE.
Highest Scorecard Marks
Massachusetts earned a 44.5 out of a total 50 points. The state even went up a half-point this year compared to its performance in 2018. Of all the categories on this year’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard Massachusetts earned a perfect score in the following three areas:
- Utilities (20 out of 20): The state’s utilities continue to earn the highest levels of electric savings in the nation, and have committed to delivering a wider variety of measures, including energy storage, renewables and strategic electrification.
- State Government-Led Initiatives (6 out of 6): The state government displays its commitment to energy efficiency by setting requirements for public buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use and encouraging the use of energy-saving performance contracts.
- Combined Heat and Power (3 out of 3): Massachusetts’ combined heat and power (CHP) policies include incentives and financing, and have enabled the development of five new installations in 2018.
“Energy efficiency measures are the most cost-effective option for ratepayers to lower their energy bills, while simultaneously helping Massachusetts meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals,” Kathleen Theoharides, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary, said in a statement.
Energy Efficiency Jobs in Massachusetts
The Commonwealth’s impressive energy efficiency strides have undoubtedly led to jobs. As of September 2019, the state employed more than 86,400 individuals in the energy efficiency sector, according to a report released by E2 and E4TheFuture.
Ranking seventh in the nation for these specific jobs, Massachusetts supports the following:
- HVAC & Renewable Heating and Cooling Systems: 42,558 jobs
- Energy Star Appliances and Energy-Efficient Lighting: 14,494 jobs
- Advanced Building Materials & Insulation: 11,032 jobs
- Other: 18,388 jobs
The Commonwealth is home to more than 9,500 energy efficiency businesses, most of them being smaller organizations. Seventy-two percent of the state’s energy efficiency workers are employed at a business with less than 20 team members. In addition, 10 percent of Massachusetts residents who work in energy efficiency are veterans.
Aside from promoting small businesses and putting veterans to work, the state’s thriving energy efficiency sector is also helping its residents get the medical care they need. How? These businesses are making sure their workers have the health insurance they deserve. While the percentage of U.S. residents who went without health insurance rose in 2018, some states – including the Commonwealth – saw a decline. In fact, Massachusetts touts the lowest rate of medically uninsured residents in the nation, at 2.8 percent.
As the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation in embracing a clean energy future, we hope that other states will follow suit to help America take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of committing to an energy-efficient future.
If you’re interested in a career in energy efficiency, there are thousands of options to choose from. Start by creating your free professional profile on Clean Energy Jobs List and start searching for the opportunity of your dreams today!