South Carolina Among Most-Improved States in Energy Efficiency Efforts
Morris News Service
October 5, 2012 — Though tied for 40th place with Alabama, South Carolina was named among the three most-improved states in its efforts to improve energy efficiency.
That's according to the 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, based in Washington, D.C.
Montana and Oklahoma joined South Carolina as states recognized for doing a lot better.
"All three states significantly increased their budgets for electric efficiency programs in 2011 over previous years, and saved more energy from such programs in 2010 than in 2009," states the authors.
"Each of these states also earned more points this year for their state-led efficiency initiatives, while South Carolina and Montana also earned credit for transportation efficiency measures."
The analysis considered six categories with various weight: utility and "public benefits" programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; heat and power policies; state government-led initiatives; and appliance and equipment standards.
South Carolina earned 10.5 points out of a possible 50 points, leaping up six spots in the state-by-state rankings. Georgia came in 33rd, scoring 14 points and advancing three places. Massachusetts topped the rankings for the second year in a row with a score of 43.5.
"We are glad that our work with the South Carolina Commission and the Office of Regulatory Staff has led to strong efficiency savings, even without a statutory mandate," said Natalie Mims with the nonprofit Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, in a press release.
"Energy efficiency is a no-brainer. It's clean, it's cheap, it saves customers money, and it creates jobs," said Blan Holman, of the Southern Environmental Law Center, in a press release.
The tie between cost-cutting and efficiency has become trendy but not in a way that suggests it's fleeting.
Last month presenters at the "Green is Good for Business" conference in Columbia consistently pointed to cost savings as a byproduct of greener, more efficient practices. The conference featured representatives from BMW Manufacturing Company, Pratt Recycling, SCE&G, and other companies and organizations.
A week earlier, University of South Carolina professor Andy Spicer outlined some of his findings from more than two-dozen case studies of a crusade by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to recycle, curb energy use and promote sustainability in its own corporate and store-by-store operations and in its suppliers.
"The largest quick wins were internal operations," Spicer told an audience of about two-dozen last month.
"If you can find energy waste, you can break down cost," he said. "Wal-mart had lots of incentive."
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