Mississippi Emerging as Regional Leader in Energy Efficiency

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Portfolio of Policies and Programs Could Meet 13% of Electricity and 10% of Natural Gas Demand, Create 32,000 Jobs, and Generate $4.3 billion in Economic Growth by 2025

Washington, D.C.—In the last year, Mississippi has advanced a suite of policies that have the state poised to become a regional leader in energy efficiency efforts, and could save the state billions while creating thousands of jobs. These findings come from a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), A Guide to Growing an Energy-Efficient Economy in Mississippi .
In October 2012, Gov. Phil Bryant released his energy plan, Energy Works: Mississippi’s Energy Roadmap. The plan signals the state’s intent to aggressively develop its vast energy resources, including energy efficiency, in order to spur economic development. The proactive leadership in the state, both public and private, has helped catapult Mississippi to the most improved state in the country in this year’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Only a year ago, Mississippi ranked last place in ACEEE’s annual Scorecard, which ranks states according to their efforts to save energy.

“One of the goals of Energy Works is expanding Mississippi’s energy capacity through efficiency, and we are proud to see these efforts pay off,” Gov. Bryant said. “Energy is one of Mississippi’s most important resources. Increased efficiency will help improve the competitiveness of Mississippi’s businesses, attract new companies to the state, and improve the reliability of our energy system.”

“Governor Bryant and leaders across the state have made laudable strides, enacting a number of intelligent, common-sense policies that will help to stimulate the local economy and meet the growing energy needs of the state for years to come,” said ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel.
ACEEE’s report concludes that through these policies Mississippi could create 32,000 jobs and free up $4.3 billion over the next decade.

“There is a significant opportunity for energy efficiency savings in Mississippi, and our report is intended as a guide to help inform the process of capturing as much of this opportunity as possible over the next 10 years,” said Max Neubauer, senior policy analyst and lead author of the report. “The report outlines a comprehensive—but not exhaustive—set of strategic energy efficiency policy and program opportunities that Mississippi and its utilities can consider when developing their portfolios. The report also offers insight into prudent regulatory policy that will help ensure that Mississippi gets the most out of its future investments.”

Mississippi is quickly moving forward with energy efficiency investments, spurred by state policies and existing utility energy efficiency programs. In October, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Severstal, an auto-grade steel manufacturer, celebrated the successful completion of energy efficiency improvements to Severstal’s facility in Columbus, Miss. The improvements will save Severstal approximately $1.6 million in energy costs annually and save enough energy to power 2,000 homes.

“The progress we’ve seen in the past year is a direct result of Governor Bryant’s focused leadership in this area,” said Karen Bishop, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s Energy and Natural Resources Division. “We are working closely with the private sector and our utility partners, as well as state agencies and local governments, and I expect that Mississippi will continue to rise in the ACEEE Scorecard rankings in the coming years.”

Mississippi’s efforts will serve as an example for other states to emulate. The policies and programs developed and administered by state agencies and utilities will guide efforts elsewhere, expediting greater economic development throughout the region.

To read the report visit: ACEEE