SNOWMASS, Colo. -- An assessment of the "electric productivity" of the 50 states indicates that shoring up performance gaps through energy efficiency could not only cut consumption by 30 percent, but also eliminate the need for more than 60 percent of coal-fired generation, according to a new study by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
The RMI study, "Assessing the Electric Productivity Gap and the U.S. Efficiency Opportunity," determines the productivity rate of each state by measuring how much gross domestic product is generated for each kilowatt-hour consumed.
The results varied widely among the states. The five showing the hightest electric productivity rates are , Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware and California. The bottom five are Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and, in last place, Mississippi.
If states were brought up to the range of productivity rates attained by the top 10 performers, which the report contends could be achieved through energy efficiency alone, then more than 60 percent of the country's coal-fired generation could be avoided, the study says.
"Closing the electric productivity gap through energy efficiency is the largest near-term opportunity to immediately reduce electricity use and greenhouse gases, and move the United States forward as a leader in the new clean energy economy," Natalie Mims, a consultant on RMI's Energy and Resources Team, said in a statement.
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