WASHINGTON — According to a new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) report, 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 in the 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The report ranks the U.S. 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., said the report. There are dozens of other international best practices the U.S. could implement to improve its score. The rankings are modeled on ACEEE’s time-tested approach to energy-efficiency ranking of U.S. states, and includes 16 of the world’s largest economies: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., the U.S., and the European Union. These 16 economies represent more than 81 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 71 percent of global energy consumption.

“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,” said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont. “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 ranking system examines 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.

Publication date: 8/4/2014 

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