The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released a scorecard that ranked Louisiana 47 out of 51, including the District of Columbia, meaning the Gulf state is one of the least energy efficient states in the country.
Louisiana scored a 6.5 out of the possible 50-point total. The only lower performing states were Kansas, South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
Energy solutions provider Joule Energy believes it can help get Louisiana out of the bottom of the rankings.
The company, which is headquartered in New Orleans, supplies modern, sophisticated energy efficiency solutions to a traditionally underserved market. Joule focuses on utility-scale solar in hopes of driving the cost of solar down and ensuring the industry is viable.
One of the reasons Louisiana ranks so low, according to Joule co-founder and President Robert Schmidt, is that the state has not set many efficiency goals or standards of its own, unlike high ranking states including California or Massachusetts.
Schmidt stresses the importance of energy efficiency in the south, especially because energy costs are low in the region. Joule helps lower the energy load of individuals and businesses through offering LED lighting solutions and by sourcing power from renewable resources such as solar.
Joule believes in a “triple bottom line” philosophy. The Joule team not only thinks about what is best for their growth, but also the impact on the community and the environment. The company helps its customers take advantage of as many state incentives as are available to them. “There are many tax incentives available that people simply aren’t aware of,” shared Schmidt. “That’s where we come in.”
Louisiana currently offers a Home Energy Loan Program but has let other programs lapse. “Louisiana asks its citizens and businesses to follow federal standards but little beyond them,” explains Schmidt. “On top of that, Louisiana doesn’t do much to measure energy efficiency code compliance.”
Schmidt says he is seeing Louisiana businesses, on all sizes and scales, recognizing the benefits of LED lighting. “In addition, the major breakthroughs in the solar industry over the next several years are going to be found in the declining cost of energy storage, and Louisiana needs to capitalize on this. This will open the door for affordable, off-grid solutions that will truly give us energy independence.”
Silicon Bayou readers can help by asking their public officials and utility companies to do more, whether it’s requesting more state programs that encourage efficiency or demanding more transparency in how the state is using energy.