The nation's leading states related to Energy Efficiency across 32 metrics in five areas were announced by American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy today. California led all states with a score of 43 out of a possible 50, while Illinois slipped four spots in the national ranking vs. 2019 results, scoring 27 points, 2 points less than last year. Neighboring Minnesota ranked 8th (the same position it had last year) while Michigan held steady at number 13.
The metrics evaluate policies and programs adopted through July, yet the published summary for Illinois (linked here) suggests optimism for our state, citing Governor Pritzker's August announcement of Eight Principles for a Clean and Renewable Economy, including a focus on enhancing energy efficiency and advancing equity.
The rankings methodology discussed in the full report (available for download here) awarded points in several policy areas including: utility and public benefit programs, transportation policies, building energy efficiency policies, appliance standards and state government initiatives - including PACE.
Illinois earned 1.5 points out of a possible 2.5 for "financial incentives." Information regarding state incentives for energy efficiency improvements was gathered through the author's survey of state energy officials and our review of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE 2020). States that have at least one active PACE program were awarded 0.5 points, while additional points were awarded for additional financial incentives offered by state energy offices such as rebates, loans, grants, or bonds for energy efficiency improvements; income tax credits and deductions for individuals or businesses; and sales tax exemptions or reductions for eligible products.
In other policy area metrics, Illinois received a perfect score for: Energy Code Compliance Efforts, Lead-by-example Initiatives, and Support of Low Income Energy Efficiency Programs.
About Chicago PACE:
Chicago PACE makes it possible for owners and developers of commercial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy infrastructure deployed in new or existing buildings. This City of Chicago program is based on legislation that classifies energy efficient and/or renewable upgrades as well as above-code new installations as a public benefit. These “green” infrastructure elements and associated soft costs (permitting, structural support, etc.) can be financed with no money down and then repaid as a benefit assessment on the property tax bill over a term that matches the useful life of improvements (often as long as 20-25 years). The program thus delivers a financial tool that facilitates the City's sustainability efforts while providing economic development opportunities by reducing capital costs and driving down operational expenses for existing properties and new projects.