The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has dubbed New Jersey as the most improved state on its 2018 scorecard.

Council Executive Director Steve Nadel said our state went from 23rd in overall efficiency to 18th this year.

"States are stepping up on energy efficiency, including major new commitments in New Jersey, New York and Virginia, helping to address the very limited activity from Washington, DC," Nadel said. "These efforts contributed to 2.25 million-plus efficiency jobs last year in the United States."

New Jersey's improvement was based largely on Gov. Phil Murphy's commitment to pursue a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2050. On May 23, Murphy signed a bill increasing the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements. The bill establishes renewable energy goals of 21 percent by 2020, 35 percent by 2025, and 50 percent by 2030, making the New Jersey's RPS one of the highest in the nation.

"The savings and spending from this new legislation will really start hitting next year and the year after that," Nadel said. "So, hopefully, New Jersey will continue to climb the ranks."

The scorecard identified the energy efficiency leaders as Massachusetts and California.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.