By Triangle Business Journal

In terms of energy-efficiency policies, North Carolina is one of just seven states to move backward in annual ratings published by a nonprofit group, while still scoring in the middle of the pack.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy rated the Tar Heel State No. 27 among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina tied with Florida as the highest scoring state in the Southeast. Massachusetts, California and New York took the top three spots, while North Dakota, Wyoming and Mississippi finished last, 50th and 49th, respectively.

The council rated states not on actual energy efficiency, but rather on policies and implementation of those policies aimed at improving energy efficiency, such as efficiency standards in building codes and transportation-related policies such as public transit funding and standards for tailpipe emissions.

North Carolina was among the leaders this year in promoting the integration of heating and electricity production, in promoting energy efficiency in government facilities, and in promoting research related to efficiency.

North Carolina tied for last place in promoting energy efficiency in transportation, and was one of the lowest-scoring states in terms of allotting ratepayer fees to support efficiency programs.

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