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Mississippi Ranked Most Improved For Energy Efficiency

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Nov 2013 05:32pm | comments

An energy efficiency group is shining a spot light on Mississippi's efforts save energy. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports recent changes in state policy have moved the state out of last place.

Mississippi is now ranked forty-seventh in efforts to make the state more efficient, according to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The jump is the largest increase of any state.

Lead researcher Annie Downs says new mandatory energy codes for commercial and state-owned businesses and new efficiency plans required by Public Service Commission account for the change.

"Mississippi was able to triple its score because it had quite a low score last year and was dead last in our rankings. That being said, I would say every point they have added onto their score is certainly notable and a ot of these policies they have put in place are long term. So I would expect that we will begin to see some notable savings coming out of Mississippi," Downs said.

 

This year, the state legislature also set up a fund to encourage agencies to convert to clean vehicles and increased the power of the energy division of the Mississippi Development Authority.

The PSC is now requiring efficiency plans from utility companies.

That's a move that Northern District Commissioner Brandon Pressley says is driven by need to save Mississippians money.

"As we go forward next year and as we continue to improve on what we have already done, that we keep the main thing the main thing and that is keeping Mississippians' money in their own pockets," Pressley said.

Secretary of the US Department of Energy Ernest Moniz says the changes could have growing effects in coming years and move Mississippi further up the ranks.

"Passing comprehensive energy legislation. Setting energy codes for state-owned buildings. And the department of Energy was very pleased to partner with Mississippi on projects like the appliance rebate program which helped families and businesses in the state purchase 34-thousand highly effecient energy star appliances," Moniz said.

While Mississippi moved out of last, the state still only scored 8 out of a possible 50 points.

Massachusetts, which was first for the third straight year, scored 42.

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