Tied for 29th place means there is still plenty of room for advancement, but what we’re doing is working!
The Commonwealth joined Florida and Idaho in receiving the “Most Improved” honor, which underscores the work VAEEC members and our partners have done to advance smart energy efficiency policies and initiatives while also calling out some specific steps we could take to break into the top 25.
We moved up from 33rd place in last year’s ranking (which we wrote about here) and scored 15.5 points out of a possible 50, so maybe keep the corks in the champagne bottles for now.
Governor Terry McAuliffe had this to say: “I am encouraged that ACEEE continues to recognize the excellent work we are doing in the Commonwealth to advance energy efficiency through innovative programs such as the VASaves Green Communities Program and Energy Performance Contracting for public agencies. While we have made progress in these areas, there is still much to be done to grow utility-sponsored programs and encourage strategies like Combined Heat and Power. Energy efficiency is a win-win for Virginia’s economy and our environment, and we must build on the momentum generated over the last four years.”
VAEEC was pleased to see several of our policy recommendations from our recent “Why Energy Efficiency is a Smart Investment for Virginia” census report — like stronger utility programs and continued energy performance contracting — were called out in the Scorecard.
Here is an excerpt:
However the state has significant room to strengthen efficiency programs and policies in the utility sector. To guarantee energy and cost savings for businesses and residents, the state could make its 10% electricity savings target mandatory and offer performance incentives to utilities achieving higher levels of electricity and natural gas savings. Virginia could also work to streamline the process by which utilities evaluate, measure, and verify energy savings which may help utilities to develop efficiency programs with more comprehensive measures. To keep costs low for all Virginia consumers, utilities could design programs that better meet the needs of large customers.
In addition, the one example ACEEE cited on the Virginia scoresheet was Columbia Gas winning one of VAEEC’s Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards for their WarmWise online home energy audit.
Bottom line is that we’re making progress, but we need more investments in and support for the programs and policies that bring that type of robust energy savings. VAEEC laid out 5 specific, tangible, realizable policy priorities in our recent census report that we believe would help Virginia bust into ACEEE’s top 25 and keep rising.