The Super Bowl of Energy EfficiencyGita Subramony for Zondits, January 14, 2015
Over the summer, Zondits examined who would win in the World Cup of Soccer. Now that it’s January, it’s time to look at who would win in the Super Bowl of Energy Efficiency. The NFL Conference Championships will occur this Sunday and will pit Green Bay against Seattle and Indianapolis against New England. The winners of Sunday’s clashes will meet in the Super Bowl. But where do these teams’ home states stand in terms of energy efficiency? A look at last year’s ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard provides some details on who is favored to win.
Massachusetts – Ranks #1 in the 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The Bay State has a great track record for utility investment in efficiency programs as well as strong energy code initiatives. Massachusetts also passed a Green Communities Act, which provides a framework for long-term sustainability and energy efficiency planning. The state’s efforts to reduce vehicle miles traveled and promote mass transit also contribute to its high ranking.
Washington – Ranks #8 in the 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Washington, like Massachusetts, has invested in utility energy efficiency programs, which achieved the highest energy savings in the nation in 2013. Energy codes and compliance initiatives also help Washington achieve its statewide energy goals. Even with this good performance on energy efficiency, there is room to grow by crafting long-term goals.
Wisconsin – Ranks #17 in the 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The Badger state jumped 6 places from 2013, earning it a most-improved mention. The state’s Focus on Energy program continues to provide incentives for energy efficiency and bring in savings. Energy code implementation and transportation efficiency, however, both have room for improvement.
Indiana – Ranks #40 in the 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Indiana dropped by 13 spots from the previous year’s rankings – the most out of any of the states. In 2014, Indiana’s legislature voted to defund its efficiency program, which left the future of these programs in serious question. Although the legislature might revisit the energy efficiency resource standard and energy efficiency programs in 2015, the fate of efficiency in Indiana remains uncertain.
If state energy efficiency policies were predictors of NFL games, the Patriots are likely to trounce the Colts this Sunday, and the Seahawks will pull away from the Packers for the win. Based on energy efficiency, the Patriots are poised to take the top honors. However, in terms of the most efficient football stadium, the Association to Save Energy ranked the Seahawks’ home at CenturyLink Field the third-most efficient NFL stadium in the country. The stadium features lighting controls, low-flow water fixtures, and access to public transit; facility upgrades resulted in a 21% drop in utility costs.
The game, though, must be played out on the field. This weekend, we’ll find out which two teams will meet in America’s most popular sporting event. And two weeks after that we will see just how well these energy efficiency rankings match up with actual gridiron grit.