(The Center Square) — Georgia ranked 39th in a new report that explores state energy efficiency and other policies.
According to the 2022 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Georgia tied with Alaska at No. 39.
The report purports to give an “update on state energy efficiency policies and programs that save energy, advance equity, and produce environmental and economic benefits.”
“Georgia continues to report below-average levels of electricity savings,” according to the report. “The state has performance incentives for utilities, which help to encourage some investment in energy efficiency.”
California topped the list besting Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Maine. Wyoming ranked at the bottom of the list, edging out Kansas and South Carolina.
“Leading states are shifting their efficiency efforts to focus on decarbonization and reducing energy burdens for the most vulnerable residents, setting an example for other states,” Sagarika Subramanian, senior research analyst at ACEEE and lead author of the report, said in an announcement.
The report noted that Georgia has more registered electric vehicles per capita than most states. However, its burdensome EV registration fee ranks among the highest in the country and “impedes consumer EV adoption.”
“Focusing on efficiency policies across the buildings, state government, and industrial sectors could significantly improve Georgia’s standing in the State Scorecard,” the report concluded.
Overall, Georgia received 6.5 points out of 50 possible. That includes two points out of 15 possible for utilities.
In its 2022 Integrated Resource Plan, Georgia Power, which has more than 2.6 million customers across the state, asked to retire approximately 3,600 MW of coal and oil-fired generation by 2028. The company is replacing its coal facilities with “more economical generation” and investing in related transmission infrastructure as it turns to power sources with lower carbon emissions.
The Georgia Public Service Commission approved the IRP on July 21. The agency has approved the retirement and decertification of most of the coal units Georgia Power controls; the exception is Plant Bowen near Euharlee, which began commercial operation in 1975.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor