A scorecard approach was used by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) to assess each U.S. state across 33 possible actions to reduce pollution and housing costs for residents through energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy investments. The analysis considers policies such as incentives for low-income households to install solar panels, prioritizing health and safety repairs in home weatherization initiatives, and protecting customers behind on utility bills from shutoffs if they apply to participate in energy efficiency programs.

Maryland proved the top performer, accruing 54.5 points out of 100 available, followed by Rhode Island with 54 points and California with 52 points. No other states earned more than half of the available points.

Map of states by ranking. Source: ACEEEMap of states by ranking. Source: ACEEE

The District of Columbia and 41 states have policies encouraging utilities to provide more efficiency programs for low-income households, despite their sometimes-higher cost. Washington is the only state to prohibit utility shutoffs between November and March for households who demonstrate an inability to pay and apply for low-income weatherization and home energy assistance. The research shows 25 states and the District of Columbia supplement the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) with state funds, allowing more households to be served. Colorado is the only state that currently leverages WAP money to integrate solar energy for low-income households.

State housing finance agencies in New York and California demonstrate strong support for both electrification and energy efficiency for affordable housing residents, which can lower utility bills. Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont are the only other states to score points for incentivizing electrification.

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