This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 22, 2010

ACEEE Recognizes the Leading State-Led Energy Efficiency Programs

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) announced on September 15 its first-ever awards for exceptional state-led energy efficiency programs. Among the top five programs is the Colorado Energy Star New Homes Program, which "presents an excellent model in which the state energy office forms regional partnerships with counties, cities, nonprofit organizations, and utilities to offer locally tailored programs." The program promotes Energy Star certification in new residential construction. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) earned kudos for two of its programs: the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Demonstration Program, which has helped pay for the installation of CHP systems at 65 locations, and the Wastewater Efficiency Program, "a model program for states intent on improving the energy efficiency of wastewater systems." A top award also went to the State of Hawaii for its Lead by Example Program, in which state agencies demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency. Hawaii's state agencies used 5.8% less electricity in fiscal year (FY) 2009 than they did in FY 2008, saving about $10 million. Rounding out the top five is the Maryland Statewide Farm Energy Audit Program, which invests carbon allowance proceeds to offer energy audits and technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers.

The ACEEE also awarded honorable mentions to 10 additional programs that originated in Alaska, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. In addition, three emerging programs won awards for their innovative approaches: a California program that gives fleet owners vouchers to halve the extra cost of buying hybrid versions of heavy-duty trucks and buses; a Massachusetts program that provides incentives for creating higher-density, mixed-income housing in smart-growth locations; and a New Jersey program that takes a comprehensive, whole-building approach to energy efficiency in existing commercial and industrial buildings. See the ACEEE press release and reportPDF.