U.S. Falls Behind in Global Energy Efficiency Rankings

09/01/2014 |

Is America's energy policy lagging behind the rest of the world?

In the second edition of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the United States ranks 13 out of 16 of the world’s biggest economies for energy efficiency, coming in behind South Korea at number 12 and just ahead of Russia at 14.

The report measures 31 separate metrics scored across four different groupings, including energy consumption at the national level and at the three sectors usually responsible for the most energy usage: buildings, industry, and transportation. The report also manages both “policy metrics” and “performance metrics,” which weigh the value of public policy against the actual energy consumption, giving a clearer picture of how much influence policy has on real usage.

“The U.S. has made limited or little progress toward the goal of using energy more efficiently in recent years,” the report explains.

It also includes new metrics, such as water efficiency policy and investment in energy efficiency by the private sector. While the U.S. does lag behind the rest of the world in energy efficiency, the report is quick to point out room for improvement – with only 42 out of a possible 100 points assigned based on the overall energy efficiency of the economy. The U.S. has four large areas in which to focus:

  1. Passing a national energy savings target
  2. Strengthening national model building energy codes
  3. Supporting education and training in the industrial sectors
  4. Prioritizing energy efficiency in transportation spending.

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