U.S. Places 13th Out of 16, Behind Australia, India, and South Korea; Germany Wins "World Cup" of Energy Efficiency: 2nd International Scorecard Evaluates 16 Leading World Economies on 31 Categories.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 17, 2014 – Germany comes in first in a new energy
European Union as a whole, China, and France, according to the 2014
International Energy Efficiency Scorecard published today by the nonprofit
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). New to the
rankings this year are four nations: India, Mexico, South Korea, and Spain.
Now in its second edition, the ACEEE report (available online at
http://aceee.org/portal/national-policy/international-scorecard) finds that,
while some countries are still significantly outperforming others, there are
substantial opportunities for improved energy efficiency in all economies
analyzed, including the U.S., which ranked 13th out of 16 nations – behind
countries such as China, Canada, and India. The new carbon pollution
standards for existing power plants proposed this June by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be a major stride in the
direction of greater energy efficiency in the U.S. There are dozens of other
international best practices that the U.S. could implement to improve its
The rankings are modeled on ACEEE's time-tested approach to energy
efficiency ranking of U.S. states, and include 16 of the world's largest
economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy,
Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United
States, and the European Union. These 16 economies represent over 81 percent
of global gross domestic product and 71 percent of global energy
On a scale of 100 possible points in 31 categories, the nations were ranked
by ACEEE as follows: (1) Germany; (2) Italy; (3) the European Union; (tied
for 4) China; (tied for 4) France; (tied for 6) Japan; (tied for 6) United
Kingdom; (8) Spain; (9) Canada; (10) Australia; (11) India; (12) South
Korea; (13) United States; (14) Russia; (15) Brazil; and (16) Mexico.
ACEEE divided the 31 metrics across four groupings: those that track
cross-cutting aspects of energy use at the national level, as well as the
three sectors primarily responsible for energy consumption in an
economically developed country -- buildings, industry, and transportation.
The top-scoring countries in each grouping are: E.U., France, and Italy
(three-way tie for national efforts); China (buildings); Germany (industry);
and Italy (transportation).
ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said: "Germany is a prime example of a
nation that has made energy efficiency a top priority. The United States,
long considered an innovative and competitive world leader, has progressed
slowly and has made limited progress since our last report, even as Germany,
Italy, China, and other nations surge ahead."
Dr. Philipp Ackermann, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Chargé
d'Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, said: "We are very
pleased that Germany ranks first in ACEEE's analysis of energy efficiency
efforts among the world's 16 largest economies. We see this as a validation
that Germany's measures are bearing fruit in its ongoing efforts to
transition towards a low-carbon and energy-efficient economy. At the same
time, we will continue to strive for further improvements. Energy efficiency
is the second pillar of Germany's transformation of its energy system
alongside the expansion of renewable energies. Every kilowatt hour of
electricity that is not consumed saves on fossil fuels and the construction
of power plants and grids."
U.S. Congressman Peter Welch (Vermont) said: "There's really no excuse for
the U.S. lagging behind other nations on energy efficiency. States like
Vermont have demonstrated that energy efficiency saves money, reduces
environmental impact, and creates jobs. And, in an environment of gridlock,
there is bipartisan common ground on this issue in Congress. I hope the 2014
International Scorecard is a wakeup call that it's time for America to
step-up and lead on energy efficiency."
The ACEEE report points out that while the U.S. has made some progress
towards greater energy efficiency in recent years, the overall story is
disappointing. "The inefficiency in the U.S. economy means a tremendous
waste of energy resources and money. Across most metrics analyzed in this
International Scorecard, in the past decade the United States has made
limited progress toward greater efficiency at the national level. The
overall U.S. score of 42 is less than half of the possible points and is 23
points away from the top spot. Further, the United States falls behind
Canada, Australia, India, and South Korea. These scores suggest that this
list of countries may have an economic advantage over the United States
because using less energy to produce and transport the same economic output
costs them less. Their efforts to improve efficiency likely make their
economies more nimble and resilient."
The ACEEE report raises a critical question: looking forward, how can the
United States compete in a global economy if it continues to waste money and
energy that other industrialized nations save and can reinvest? In its
analysis, ACEEE outlines a number of recommendations for the United States,
highlighting four major opportunities for increased energy efficiency:
passing a national energy savings target; strengthening national model
building energy codes; supporting education and training in the industrial
sectors; and prioritizing energy efficiency in transportation spending.
Rachel Young, ACEEE research analyst and lead author of the report, said:
"Countries that use energy more efficiently use fewer resources to achieve
the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources,
and gaining a competitive edge over other countries. In the United States,
we need to do more on energy efficiency to remain competitive in an
increasingly tough global marketplace."
In addition to expanding the list of global economies included in the
ranking, there have been other changes made since the 2012 International
Energy Efficiency Scorecard. New metrics have been added and several
existing metrics have been improved with better data sources and increased
input from country experts. The new metrics include water efficiency policy,
agricultural efficiency, building retrofit policies, heavy-duty fuel
efficiency standards, and investment in energy efficiency by the private
The ACEEE ranking system looks at both "policy metrics" and "performance
metrics" to measure a country's overall energy efficiency. Examples of
"policy metrics" include the presence of a national energy savings target,
fuel economy standards for vehicles, and energy efficiency standards for
appliances. The "performance metrics" measure energy use and provide
quantifiable results. Examples of "performance metrics" include average
miles per gallon of on-road passenger vehicles and energy consumed per
square foot of floor space in residential buildings.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to
advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and
behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and
conferences, visit http://aceee.org.