According to an American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) study, Texas now ranks 32nd among U.S. states in energy efficiency, down from 23rd in 2009. The current 10 top-ranked states in energy efficiency are shown below:
4. New York
7. Rhode Island
8. (tie) Connecticut
8. (tie) Minnesota
Even Arizona and New Mexico have recently outstripped Texas, with Arizona adopting new energy-saving targets that moved them from 29th to 18th, and New Mexico climbing from 30th to 22nd with the passage of stringent new building codes, coupled with performance incentives for utilities to become more energy-efficient.
In 2007, another ACEEE report found that, with ambitious energy-efficiency efforts, Texas could eliminate about 75 percent of the projected growth in electricity demand over the next 15 years. Since then, the Public Utility Commission has raised the utilities’ target for energy efficiency – now at 20 percent – to 25 percent by 2012 and 30 percent by 2013.
Several major Texas cities, notably Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, have adopted forward-looking codes, but even they could step it up a notch. Backing from the Legislature would signal to other Texas cities that improving energy efficiency isn’t a local option but a statewide priority.
By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.