Washington, DC—More U.S. states have adopted or advanced new energy-saving targets and vehicle and appliance rules, but COVID-19 slowed other efficiency efforts, according to the 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released Wednesday. For the first time in four years, California took first place nationwide, edging out Massachusetts, the leader in the Northeast. Other regional leaders include Minnesota in the Midwest, Colorado in the Southwest, and Virginia in the South.
The 50-state scorecard (which also includes Washington, DC) from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that states, many of which have set ambitious climate goals since 2018, had to abruptly shift their focus this year to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the deadly global pandemic. Across the country, energy efficiency workers lost jobs—with an estimated more than 300,000 still unemployed—pointing to the need for policymakers to help get them back to work.