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How Energy Efficient Is Idaho?

Idaho Statesman
Idaho ranks 30th among states for energy efficiency, according to a new national report. It highlights transportation and utilities as areas in which Idaho could improve.

A national scorecard out this week, which ranks states by energy efficiency, puts Idaho in the middle of the pack — it tied for 30th place.


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that released the report, evaluated states on things like utility and transporation policies, and building codes.

States like Massachusetts, California and Rhode Island had the highest energy efficiency scores while West Virginia, North Dakota and Wyoming rounded out the bottom of the list. 

Weston Berg, the lead researcher of the study, said transportation is a weak spot for Idaho. States higher in the rankings offer incentives for purchasing higher-efficiency vehicles, for example.


“They also invest more in public transportation," he said, "and also institute smart growth policies that integrate transportation and land-use planning, and ways to help reduce vehicle miles traveled per capita.”


Another sector for improvement, according to Idaho's state profile, is utilities. The report highlighted Idaho Power’s plan to provide 100% clean energy by 2045. But it said other states give more incentives and rewards to utilities, encouraging them to set their own energy-efficient practices.


Berg said grading states like this is important because there isn’t a uniform, national policy to set standards.


“We put together this scorecard as a way to sort of generate some friendly competition among states," he said.


Idaho does rank well on its codes for new commercial and residential buildings. 

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen  
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