Utah is falling behind in the national race to lead on policies and programs that deliver energy savings to Utah families and businesses. According to the 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a rising number of states are showing US leadership on energy efficiency by adopting ambitious goals and energy-saving rules for utilities, buildings, appliances, and vehicles. Unfortunately, Utah is not among them.
Utah ranked 22nd in the 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, falling two positions in the rankings from 2018. The state scored 19.5 points out of a possible 50, 1.5 points less than the previous year. Utah’s ranking peaked in 2010, ranking 12th in the nation for energy efficiency. The state has been steadily declining every year since.
“It wasn’t that long ago that Utah was gaining momentum in our energy efficiency practices and in the top fifteen states in the ACEEE scorecard. Unfortunately, we are seeing less and less emphasis by our utilities towards one of the most cost-effective, readily available resources we have, which is energy efficiency,” says Kevin Emerson, Utah Clean Energy’s director for energy efficiency programs.
This 13th annual report identifies the leader; the most-improved states, the states that lost ground, which includes Utah. The report highlights that while Utah’s legislature made progress by completing significant updates to its commercial building energy code, Utah’s utility-sector energy savings dipped in 2018 as Rocky Mountain Power scaled back its energy efficiency programs. Another setback noted in the report is that Utah has not adopted appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government, as numerous states recently did, including two of Utah’s southwest neighbors, Colorado and Nevada.