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Mass. honored for energy efficiency

Massachusetts is the most energy-­efficient state for the second year in a row, according to rankings by the American Council for an Energy­Efficient Economy.

This is the sixth year the council, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, has rated states according to criteria such as utility programs, state initiatives, policies, and building codes aimed at improving energy efficiency. The council said the state’s Green Communities Act — one of several pieces of environmental legislation passed in 2008 — contributed to Massachusetts’ keeping the number one spot.

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“The Act laid the foundation for greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring gas and electric utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through energy efficiency,” the report said.

Massachusetts surpassed California as the most energy-efficient state last year. California held the top spot for the first four years of the council’s ranking, while Massachusetts was ranked second in 2009 and 2010.

“We are proud to have maintained the number one spot in the nation because of our continued focus on innovation and investments in energy efficiency,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement. “Our Green Communities Act is cutting our dependence on imported energy sources, creating jobs, and leading the way to a more sustainable future for Massachusetts.”

Erin Ailworth can be reached at eailworth@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ailworth.
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