Which U.S. State is the Most Energy Efficient?
Here are the most and least efficient states in terms of building, auto, and transportation efficiency.
In a recent Insulation Institute blog, Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd analyzed the results of a new report on the energy efficiency of states:
The report from WalletHub, a personal finance company, analyzes data from various government agencies in 48 states and ranks each in their building, auto, and transportation efficiency. While some states have aggressive stretch energy code requirements, other states lag in their efforts.
Utah topped the list of the most energy-efficient states overall, scoring a total of 83.91 points out of 100. It ranked the highest in terms of home energy efficiency. Conversely, South Carolina ranked worst overall, with 21.49 points, and fared the worst in-home energy efficiency.
Massachusetts ranked ninth in-home energy efficiency but best for auto efficiency. Wyoming was the worst for auto efficiency. (It’s worth noting that another report by ACEEE ranks California as the most energy-efficient state, so different methodologies will produce different results).
WalletHub’s analysis detailed options for states in improving their home energy efficiency. “The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that adopting energy-efficient features in the home could reduce utility costs by as much as 25 percent,” the report notes. The report also called on states and governments to continue to adopt more energy-efficient measures to improve overall energy usage, noting that tax credits that incentivize consumers to make energy efficiency upgrades are a particularly effective tool in boosting efficiency.
The authors also note that governments don’t have to rely on tax policy alone to boost energy efficiency. According to Valerie Thomas of the Georgia Institute of Technology, “Energy efficiency standards for buildings should include building codes and appliance standards, so no one is stuck with an energy hog building or appliance.”
Notably, the report concludes that increasing energy efficiency will decrease long-term costs for everyone, including utilities, individuals, and governments. Increased efficiency will also provide energy savings and boost building resiliency, the analysis concludes.
Aeroseal AeroBarrier Connect Air Sealing System
Builders, contractors, and energy raters who want to be even better at sealing buildings—in terms of quality and quantity—should check out Aeroseal’s AeroBarrier Connect. This redesigned air sealing system is easier to use and more effective at helping structures meet the requirements of Energy Star, LEED, Passive House, and Zero Energy Buildings.
More important, a tighter building envelope can help increase the comfort and overall indoor air quality (IAQ) within the home, leading to a better living environment.
The product features a series of smart nozzle stations that can be positioned throughout a home and monitored independently to control temperature and humidity within each room. This ensures that each part of the house gets the exact amount of sealant needed to seal leaks. Users can monitor spraying progress with their laptops, and make any necessary adjustments.
AeroBarrier Connect can seal leaks of up to half an inch wide and as small as a human hair. Seals can be performed by single work crews instead of multiple traders and contractors, and in as little as one-third of the time required for manual sealing.
Schneider Electric Wiser Energy System
With homes on pace to become the nation’s largest consumer of electricity, Schneider Electric is offering several smart solutions through its Wiser Energy system and connected wiring devices to help builders respond to changing home buyer needs and evolving environmental regulations.
The innovations focus on four key areas that enable builders to create top-of-the-line homes (and home buyers to reduce energy consumption): providing best-in-class safety and protection, creating an enhanced lifestyle with connectivity, incorporating AI and machine learning, and embracing modern aesthetics and modular designs.
The solutions include:
- The Square D Energy Center, a more resilient, efficient, and aesthetic all-in-one home energy system designed for smart homes and offering personalized digital control over residential energy use.
- The Wiser Home Energy Monitor, a connected solution integrated into the home’s electrical panel providing real-time information to optimize home energy usage and track savings.
- The collection of Square D Wiring Devices: high-performing, multi-tasking, connected light switches, dimmers, outlets and combination items that can control room lighting and monitor energy. These include embedded sensors to monitor energy consumption down to the switch level, offering greater insight to optimize residential energy use.
Hope’s Windows One55 Series with Thermal Evolution technology
Hope’s Windows’ One55 Series windows and doors equipped with Thermal Evolution technology feature a fiber-reinforced, highly thermally resistant polymer (FRP) isolator. The FRP creates a powerfully strong and enduring composite construction that delivers impressive thermal efficiency and enhanced resistance to condensation.
The enhanced thermal efficiency also exceeds the most stringent thermal codes. The solid hot-rolled steel framing profiles remain completely intact for the full depth of the window profile.
Laticrete Strata Heat Floor Warming System
Tile, stoneware, and masonry products manufacturer Laticrete’s Strata Heat floor warming system, includes an industry-first, high-performance floor heating, spliceless wire, and an uncoupling mat. The floor warming system can increase thermal heat diffusion by 20 percent while reducing energy costs by up to 15 percent and minimizing cold spots to make homes feel more comfortable. It can be installed under tile, stone, vinyl, carpeted, or hardwood floor.
Bring the Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Buildings continue to get more efficient as codes toughen and manufacturers dial up the specs on important products such as energy-efficient appliances, insulation, windows, smart tech, air sealing, and others.
You can download Green Builder’s 2021 Hot 50 green product picks for the latest on energy-efficient green products. Highlighted here are a few of the editors’ picks that can help move all U.S. states toward energy efficiency: