FARGO — An annual scorecard that tracks the progress states make toward energy efficiency ranks Minnesota at No. 9 in the country, while North Dakota came in at No. 48.

The recently released 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard states that Minnesota's ranking was helped by things like strong energy savings goals established under the state's 2007 Next Generation Energy ACT and the state's efforts to ensure energy code compliance.

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In explaining its rankings, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy also cited the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's pursuit of rulemaking that would adopt California's low- and zero-emission vehicle standards.

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When it comes to North Dakota, the scorecard notes several factors played a role in the state landing among the bottom five in the country when it comes to energy efficiency, including the fact North Dakota has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

The scorecard also dings North Dakota for, in general, not expressing an interest in pursuing policies that encourage efficient transportation systems. Attempts to reach North Dakota state officials for comment for this story were not successful.

Minnesota's scorecard can be read here.

North Dakota's scorecard can be read here.

A summary report accompanying the release of this year's scorecard noted that states, many of which have set ambitious climate goals since 2018, had to shift their focus in 2020 because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the loss of an estimated 300,000 energy efficiency jobs.

California ranked No. 1 in the country for energy efficiency efforts, including a move by state regulators in January to approve $45 million in incentives for high-efficiency heat pump water heaters, a critical technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The scorecard also cited California Gov. Gavin Newsom's September executive order calling for the phase-out of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.