According to a recent report, Louisiana is among the worst performing states when it comes to efforts to “promote energy efficiency in the service of decarbonization.”
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released its 2022 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard in December to rank states for “political and programmatic efforts to conserve energy, promote equity and efficiency as a cost-effective, critical tool for reducing emissions and meeting goals.” for clean energy.”
The 15th edition of report compares states based on six policy areas: utilities and public utility, transportation, building energy efficiency, state government-led initiatives, industrial energy efficiency, and appliance and equipment standards.
“Leading states are shifting efficiency efforts to decarbonization and reducing energy burdens on the most vulnerable residents, setting an example for other states,” said Sagarika Subramanian, senior research analyst at ACEEE and lead author of the report. “The clean energy transition will only succeed if we ensure everyone benefits, including low-income and disadvantaged communities, while addressing historical patterns of injustice.
“Due to the severity of the climate crisis, even leading nations must take bolder action to help the United States meet its climate goals of at least 50% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Louisiana shared 46th overall with Mississippi and South Dakota for energy efficiency with a score of 3.5 out of 50, down a spot from last year. The state received the highest score for state government initiatives, scoring 2.5 out of 4.5, and received zero points for utility services and public benefits, building energy efficiency guidelines, industry guidelines, and appliance efficiency standards.
ACEEE gave Louisiana a 1 out of 13 for Transportation Policy.
The report also examined incremental savings from electricity efficiency programs in 2021, with Louisiana saving 104,169 megawatt hours, or 0.11% of retail sales in 2021. The average incremental US savings for 2021 was 0.62% of retail sales, or 200,324 megawatt hours.
“Nationally reported savings from utility and public sector electricity programs in 2021 totaled 0.68% of revenue, or 26 million MWh, down 2.43% from 2020,” the report said.
Louisiana spent $32 million on electricity efficiency programs in 2021, accounting for 0.4% of that year’s statewide electricity revenue, a percentage worse than all but 11 states.
The ACEEE report shows that total US power program spending in 2021 fell about 2.3% from 2020 to $5.96 billion. However, if spending on natural gas programs of $1.69 billion is factored in, total spending on efficiency programs reached $7.66 billion in 2021, up 0.82% over 2020.
46th-ranked Louisiana was among the worst in the Southeastern region, level with Mississippi, and well behind Texas at No. 29 and Arkansas at No. 37. The only state in the region to rank lower was South Carolina at No. 49, while States with better rankings Alabama and Oklahoma at #41, Georgia at #39, Florida at #29, Tennessee at #28, North Carolina at #25, Kentucky at #38, West Virginia at #44, and Virginia at #20.
The top 10 states on the Energy Efficiency Scorecard include California at the top, followed by Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Maine, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut and Minnesota.
The least energy efficient states include Wyoming in last place, followed by Kansas, South Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama and Oklahoma.