Press Release | October 13, 2010

Southern States Bottom Out in ACEEE National Energy Efficiency Rankings

Following are statements by the Southern Environmental Law Center regarding the findings released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, with state-by-state rankings for energy efficiency.  The six southeast states rank as follows:

Alabama: 49 (down from 48 last year)
Georgia: 37 (up from 44 last year)
North Carolina: 24 (up from 26 last year)
South Carolina: 40 (down from 37 last year)
Tennessee: 35 (up from 38 last year)
Virginia: 34 (same)

Statements from Jill Tauber, SELC Staff Attorney:
“Although these rankings can be seen as an indicator of how far behind the South is on energy efficiency, the rankings also demonstrate the  tremendous opportunity we have to tap into this clean, affordable and reliable source of energy and create thousands of new jobs in the process.  Some southern states are moving in that direction, while others are actually falling farther behind.  We need strong leadership and policies to realize the great potential of energy efficiency.”

“Georgians should feel encouraged, but the state still has a long way to go. Most of the state’s energy comes from coal and other polluting fossil fuels  We need to do better to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to Georgians-lower customer bills, better air quality, a domestic source of electricity, and plenty of jobs.”

North Carolina:
“North Carolinians can be proud that they’re leading the southeast in energy efficiency, but the state has a long way to go before it can emerge as a national leader.  To bring the benefits of energy efficiency to North Carolinians-including lower customer bills and healthier air-North Carolina needs a greater commitment from utilities and policymakers, particularly in areas like transportation and appliance standards where ACEEE gave the state low marks.”

South Carolina:
“While its neighbors to the north and south are making progress in bringing the benefits of energy efficiency to their citizens, South Carolina is headed in the wrong direction. The state’s policymakers and utilities need to step up to bring lower customer bills and improved air quality to the Palmetto State.”

Statements by Frank Rambo, SELC Senior Attorney:

“Virginia’s ranking of 34 is the same as last year, but in this case,  no news is not good news for Virginia. All the energy efficiency measures and policies that have not been pursued translate into lost jobs and lost savings for ratepayers.  As Governor McDonnell holds a statewide energy conference this week in Richmond, we urge his administration to move swiftly to tap into this pool of ready-made, affordable and clean energy.”

“Ranked at 35 in this report, Tennessee is crawling in the right direction, but clearly has a long way to go toward realizing the benefits of energy efficiency.  TVA’s long-range plan for meeting electricity demand is up for revision, so now is the time to lock in its commitments to energy efficiency and put real momentum behind the state’s movement toward this safe, reliable and cost-effective resource..”

“Whether Alabama Power plans to tap into cost-effective energy efficiency is largely unknown because there is no regular public review of the utility’s long-range resource plans. But, having dropped in ACEEE’s rankings from 48 last year to 49 this year, it’s clear the state is currently stuck in the wrong end of the spectrum when it comes to securing clean and affordable energy.”

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