Massachusetts moves to the top of the list and Maryland joins it for the first time in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) most recent ranking based on metrics that capture best practices and recognize leadership in energy efficiency policy and program implementation. According to the Energy-Efficiency Scorecard, the other eight top states are: California (bumped down from the top spot it has held for four years), New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Connecticut, and Minnesota.

The 10 states most in need of improvement are: South Dakota, Alabama, Missouri, West Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

The report benchmarks progress and provides a roadmap to advance energy efficiency in the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors. The six most improved states are: Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee.

“Clearly, 2011 wasn’t kind to our economy, but energy efficiency remains a growth sector that attracts investment and creates jobs,” says Michael Sciortino, ACEEE senior policy analyst and the report’s lead author.

“With even higher energy savings possible, we expect leading states to continue pushing the envelope next year and inspire those at the bottom of the rankings to embrace energy efficiency as a core strategy to gain a competitive advantage by generating cost-savings, promoting technological innovation, and stimulating growth.”