From Washington to Rhode Island, the United States is becoming more eco-friendly and energy efficient every year. Daylighting, insulation, renewable heat and a wide range of other energy efficient technologies are no longer niche, but mainstream.
What’s particularly inspiring about the recent increase in awareness about energy efficiency is that it’s truly nationwide. While some states stand out as more energy efficient than others, every state in the country has committed to going green.
In this blog post, we’ll look at the country’s seven greenest states and observe the strategies, technologies and initiatives that they’re using to reduce the amount of energy they consume and become more environmentally responsible.
Did you know that Vermont has the highest natural gas efficiency of any state? This beautiful state in the Northeast is an energy efficiency pioneer. In 1999, it passed the Energy Efficiency Utility – an initiative that provides incentives to become greener.
Home to some of the country’s most beautiful countryside, Vermont understands the value of being environmentally responsible. Its energy efficiency initiatives are the template for several other states, including Maine and New Jersey.
Another scenic state, albeit this time on the opposite coast, Washington has spent more than $25 million in the last year on improving its energy efficiency in schools and government buildings.
Washington has long been one of the country’s most environmentally responsible states, and for good reason. Home to some of North America’s most beautiful coast and forests, it has a great deal to be protective (and proud) of.
Another New England state – Connecticut has gone out of its way to reduce energy consumption and protect its beautiful coastline. As one of the country’s wealthiest states, Connecticut residents have committed to doing their part for nature.
In June of 2013, Connecticut passed a new law requiring state buildings to collect data on their baseline energy usage. The law also doubles funding for new energy efficiency programs, helping homeowners and businesses become greener.
Widely regarded as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible states, Oregon has been leading the way in energy efficiency and renewability since the 1980s, when it passed a law encouraging weatherproofing for homeowners.
More recently, Oregon has implemented a number of laws designed to reduce its total energy usage and emission output. Along with several other states, it started applying California’s strict vehicle emissions standards to improve its air quality.
New York has made one of the largest commitments of all states to improving its energy efficiency. Under the Energy-Efficient Resource Standards program, New York aims to lower energy usage and invest in renewable energy technologies.
In addition to investing in clean energy, New York has created a reduction target that aims to reduce the number of miles traveled by vehicles each year – one of a few in the entire country.
While California may be known as the national home of energy efficiency, it’s no longer the country’s most energy efficient state. With new building standards for energy efficiency coming into effect this year, California takes second place.
Thanks to its renewable energy initiatives, focus on energy efficiency in new and existing developments and commitment to air and water quality, California has a much deserved reputation as one of the nation’s greenest states.
For the last three years, Massachusetts has beaten California to claim the country’s top spot for energy efficiency. This coastal state has implemented a wide variety of energy efficiency initiatives aimed at progressively lowering energy consumption.
From energy audits to public rebates for homeowners and businesses that improve their buildings, Massachusetts’s combination of energy efficiency education and its persuasive financial incentives have made it the country’s greenest state.