The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released its 2013 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ranking the states’ (and the District of Columbia’s) energy efficiency policies from 1st to 51st. Unfortunately for us, North Dakota placed 51st and landed on the “5 States Most Needing Improvement” list along with Wyoming, neighboring South Dakota, Alaska, and Mississippi.
It should be noted, however, that North Dakota did not receive any points for state government-led initiatives, even though the legislature approved funding for a public buildings energy efficiency program and has done much to promote energy savings performance contracting at all of the state campuses. Big thanks to our friend, Kim Christianson, President of the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy, for pointing this out.
Our state also consistently ranks among the largest energy users per capita as noted in this U.S. News report or on this U.S. Department of Energy map, making North Dakotans especially vulnerable to fluctuating energy prices. Energy efficiency and conservation measures not only decrease your utility bill in the short-term, but they also protect you from future spikes in energy prices. Always remember: the cheapest unit of energy is the one you don’t have to use!
If you’re looking to help create a more energy efficient North Dakota, you’re in good company.
One of many efforts in our state, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity recently constructed its first, single family LEED Certified home. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the go-to approach to building retrofits and new construction supported by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). With a mission of making housing affordable, it only makes sense for Habitat for Humanity to consider building to LEED (or other energy efficiency standards), helping decrease the homeowner’s financial burden of operating a home (heating, electricity, etc.). North Dakota’s own chapter of the USGBC is a coalition of people from various business sectors, industries, and organizations; all working to create sustainable environments and buildings in the state. This will hopefully be the first of many LEED projects in North Dakota and signal a stronger trend toward more energy efficient living.
By utilizing green building and energy efficiency practices, we can contribute economic, social, and environmental benefit to our state and make our communities a better place to live. Our goal at the 401(e) Home Energy Service is to make home energy improvements convenient and affordable.
For more information on green building, energy efficiency, and sustainability efforts in ND, check out these resources:
401(e) on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/401e.Home.Energy.Plan
USGBC – ND http://www.usgbcnorthdakota.org/
Green3 Grand Forks http://www.grandforksgov.com/gfgov/home.nsf/GreenPages/Green+Home
Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity http://www.lakeagassizhabitat.org/index.php
North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy http://www.ndare.org
Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity http://www.rrvhabitat.org/
Renew ND http://renewnd.areavoices.com/