Texas ranking on State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

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By Terri Williams October 17th, 2019
For business

Today, Choose Energy writer Terri Williams shares the second article in a two-part series on Texas energy efficiency. Today’s article focuses on Texas’ rank in the 2019 Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

Texas ranked 26th in the 2019 Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), has released its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

The state of Texas is tied for 26th place on the scorecard and has dropped from the 25th spot since last year. However, the city of Austin is ranked in the top 10 U.S. cities.

The top 10 states, in order, are Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington. The bottom 10, in order, are Wyoming, North Dakota, Louisiana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Each state is ranked on the basis of 6 different factors in the Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Below is an overview of the factors – and also the rankings for several major cities in Texas.

Utilities

Regarding utilities, Texas received 1 out of 20 possible points. The national median score is 5.5 points. Why so low? According to the ACEEE, in the state of Texas, efficiency programs are optional for large customers. This substantially reduces achievable savings.

Transportation

Texas scored 3 out of 10 possible points in the area of transportation. The national median score is 3.5 points. The number of electric vehicles registered in the state of Texas means that more residents are purchasing these cars. Texas also has a rebate program for those who purchase electric vehicles.

Building Energy Efficiency Policies

As it relates to building energy efficiency policies, Texas scored 7 out of 8 points. The state requires single-family residential homes to comply with the 2015 International Residential Code. Commercial and multifamily buildings must align with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.

Combined Heat and Power

Texas got 0.5 out of 3 possible points for combined heat and power. The national median score is also 0.5. Critical facilities in Texas are required to conduct a heat and power feasibility study before beginning construction.

State Government-Led Initiatives

 In initiatives led by the state government, Texas earned 4 out of 6 points. The national median score is 4 points. Texas has 2 major research centers dedicated to energy efficiency. Additionally, the Texas LoanSTAR is a major program that makes loans for energy efficiency investments.

Appliance Standards

Texas scored 0 out of 3 points for appliance standards. The national median score is also 0. While Texas has energy efficiency standards regarding plumbing products, there has not been an analysis to estimate energy savings.

Texas residents can still experience the benefits of energy efficiency standards. “Many industries, including the HVAC industry, place a major emphasis on being compliant with energy efficiency standards in order to ensure consumers are receiving an excellent combination of performance and effectiveness,” explains Jim Lowell, Trane Senior Product Manager of Smart Equipment for Residential Solutions.

Lowell urges consumers to strongly consider Energy Star certified systems that have a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) ratings. “SEER and EER are good ways to compare one system’s efficiency to another, much like miles-per-gallon when comparing automobile gas efficiency,” Lowell explains. “The higher the SEER and EER numbers, the more efficient the system and lower the energy costs.” In fact, he says that Energy Star rated HVAC systems can be 15% more efficient than other models.

City rankings

The ACEEE also ranks individual cities. Following are the rankings for 5 major cities in Texas.

 

Austin, TX

Austin is ranked 9th, with a total score of 63.00 out of 100 points.

The score breaks down as follows:

  • Local government operation: 7.5 out of 9 points
  • Community-wide initiatives: 10 out of 16 points
  • Buildings policies: 21 out of 30 points
  • Energy and water utilities: 9.5 out of 15 points
  • Transportation: 15 out of 30 points

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is ranked 32nd, with a total score of 34.00 out of 100 points.

The score breaks down as follows:

  • Local government operation: 4.5 out of 9 points
  • Community-wide initiatives: 5.5 out of 16 points
  • Buildings policies: 11 out of 30 points
  • Energy and water utilities: 4 out of 15 points
  • Transportation: 9 out of 30 points

Houston, TX

Houston is ranked 35th, with a total score of 31.50 out of 100 points.

The score breaks down as follows:

  • Local government operation: 5 out of 9 points
  • Community-wide initiatives: 3.5 out of 16 points
  • Buildings policies: 10 out of 30 points
  • Energy and water utilities: 4.5 out of 15 points
  • Transportation: 8.5 out of 30 points

Dallas, TX

Dallas is ranked 37th, with a total score of 29.50 out of 100 points

The score breaks down as follows:

  • Local government operation: 3.5 out of 9 points
  • Community-wide initiatives: 2.5 out of 16 points
  • Buildings policies: 13 out of 30 points
  • Energy and water utilities: 5 out of 15 points
  • Transportation: 5.5 out of 30 points

Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth is ranked 44th, with a total score of 26.50  out of 100 points.

The score breaks down as follows:

  • Local government operation: 1.5 out of 9 points
  • Community-wide initiatives: 1.5 out of 16 points
  • Buildings policies: 9 out of 30 points
  • Energy and water utilities: 7.5 out of 15 points
  • Transportation: 7 out of 30 points

Terri Williams is a freelance journalist with bylines at The Economist, USA Today, Yahoo, the Houston Chronicle, and U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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