Wake Up Call on American Energy Efficiency

A survey finds the U.S. ranks low for energy efficiency. The survey, by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, noted the U.S. was ranked ninth among the 12 countries surveyed, a fact highlighted in the media reports. Britain was ranked at the top, with an overall score of 67 out of 100, while the US scored 47.  Robert Ichord, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, said, “It means energy efficiency has got to be the front and center of our policies.” The council’s International Energy-Efficiency Scorecard ranked the world’s 12 largest economies based on 27 measures, including energy use in buildings, fuel-efficiency standards, and spending on manufacturing research and development.

The U.S. was “outranked” by not only Britain but also by Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Australia, the European Union and China. The country was ahead of Brazil, Canada and Russia. The paper says the ranking takes into account scores countries in four areas — national efforts, buildings, industry, and transportation — using mostly 2011 data.  The U.S. scored best, 17 points, in the buildings category, reflecting the adoption of energy efficient building standards and appliance efficiency standards.  It ranked poorest, earning five points and ranking last, in the transportation category.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.

ACEEE was founded in 1980 by leading researchers in the energy field.  ACEEE is a leading center of expertise on energy efficiency with a reputation for quality, credibility, the applicability of its work, and a bipartisan approach. Its technical work is widely relied upon by policymakers, business and industry decision-makers, consumers, the media, and other energy professionals. The paper can be accessed at www.aceee.org/

Our track record on energy efficiency is well established. Energy efficiency is a cost effective technology that can be deployed without crushing micro regulation of consumer energy choices.

Our new LEED Platinum HQ uses 50% less energy than the old building. It was built because there was a strong business case, not because of heavy handed regulations. Energy efficiency could have a very significant and affordable positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions if given appropriate policy emphasis and time.

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