Oklahoma is among the bottom 10 states in energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The group released its fifth annual report on Thursday.
Oklahoma was ranked 47th in the report, according to ACEEE.
The ranking is important, but it probably doesn't accurately reflect the progress Oklahoma is making to capture the potential of energy efficiency, said Oklahoma Secretary of Energy Michael Ming.
"But, it is a reminder that we still have work to do," Ming said. "Fortunately, the governor has set practical energy policy as a priority, which includes efforts to improve energy efficiency and demand side management (DSM). This effort to identify and address areas of improvement and potential for the state is well under way."
The annual score card provides an assessment of policies and programs that improve energy efficiency in homes, businesses, industry and transportation sectors, ACEEE said. The score card examines six state energy-efficiency, or EE, policy areas: utility and public benefits programs and policies, transportation policies, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state government initiatives, and appliance efficiency standards. States earn up to 50 possible points overall.
Energy efficiency is America's untapped energy resource, said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel.
"The states continue to press forward to reap economic and environmental benefits from it," said Nadel.
Oklahoma has policies in place to raise the state's ranking, Ming said.
"The Oklahoma Energy Security Act and existing rules at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which enable utilities to make investments in EE and DSM opportunities, are perhaps the best examples of policies already in place to help the state improve its ranking," Ming said. "Importantly, the Oklahoma Energy Security Act establishes a 15-percent renewable-energy target that specifically includes EE and DSM as important resources to be considered in meeting the state's goal."
The state is taking a lead on policies that promote energy efficiency and demand site management opportunities, Ming said. Oklahoma had the first Energy Star-certified state Capitol building in the U.S. The Oklahoma Department of Central Services Office of Facilities Management, which manages more than 2 million square feet of state office space, was recognized as an Energy Star Leaders Top Performer. …