A new report finds New Jersey is ramping up clean energy efforts.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is out with its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, and New Jersey ranks as the 17th best state in the nation, up one spot from last year.

Weston Berg, the lead author of the report and an ACEEE senior research analyst, said there are more than 30 scoring categories considered, including utility-funded energy efficiency, utility business models, and transportation, construction and appliance standards.

“Energy efficiency has a whole range of benefits," Berg said. "In addition to helping customers save on their energy bills, it also lowers pollution, creates jobs, it also reduces the energy burden for those most in need, including people living in older, draftier homes.”

He explained there isn’t really a uniform national standard for energy efficiency, and historically it’s been the individual states that have advanced energy efficiency. The scorecard was put out as a way to “highlight different areas states are doing well in and hopefully generate some friendly competition and provide examples, best practice case studies of where states can do better.”

He said recently adopted energy efficiency resource standards set for the state’s utilities have helped to make the state more energy efficient.

“New Jersey’s utilities and regulators have been working towards developing new sets of efficiency programs to meet those targets," he said, including providing rebates for efficient appliances and retrofits to homes.

The state is also making strides in the transportation sector, increasing electric vehicle registrations, and the state gets high marks for having strong building energy efficiency policies.

Massachusetts and California are the top rated states for energy efficiency, while West Virginia and Wyoming are the lowest ranked.

The Scorecard report is available here.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com