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Report: MO Not Making The Grade For Energy Efficiency

PHOTO: Environmental advocates say Missouri should learn from the energy policies implemented in other states to improve its energy efficiency ranking and prepare for a cleaner energy future. Image courtesy of American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
PHOTO: Environmental advocates say Missouri should learn from the energy policies implemented in other states to improve its energy efficiency ranking and prepare for a cleaner energy future. Image courtesy of American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
October 24, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The report card is in, and when it comes to taking steps to lower energy costs, reduce pollution, and save consumers money, Missouri isn't making the grade. The ranking from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy puts Missouri 44th in the nation, down one spot from last year.

Andy Knott, Missouri Beyond Coal Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club, says while the score is disappointing, it does point to the many opportunities available right now for the state to improve and comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. He says the state's utility companies can lead the way by expanding their incentive programs.

"The utilities just need to enlarge these programs so even more ratepayers can benefit from it," Knott says. "They should be advertising them better so ratepayers know about the programs and can take advantage of them."

Missouri utilities earned just three points out of 20 in the report receiving credit for programs that provide rebates to consumers for things like switching to more energy-efficient appliances and converting from incandescent to LED lights.

Linda Green of Columbia spent months researching energy-efficient options for her home and church, and while she has been able to trim her utility bills, she says that isn't the only benefit.

"We want to save money," says Green. "But we also want to save the environment, and in good conscience it's very important to do what we can to stop polluting our air and water."

The rankings are also based on factors like transportation initiatives and building energy codes. Knott adds that improvements in all those areas will help Missouri make strides toward the EPA standards, which call for a 30-percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO