The largest economies in the world – a total of 16 nations – were ranked for their energy efficiency by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The results may surprise you.
U.S. in 13th Place
The United States ranked 13th out of 16, surpassed by both China and India. The only economies that ranked below the U.S. were Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. The rankings are calculated by a variety of metrics, mainly focusing on the sectors most responsible for consuming energy in these economically developed countries: transportation, industry, and buildings. One reason America ranked so poorly is transportation. Not only do Americans drive more than anyone else ranked, they also came in last place for using public transportation.
Another area that America needs to improve: national energy efficiency building codes. This could make a tremendous impact on energy efficiency. For example, we know that buildings account for 40 percent of all U.S. energy used and that windows are responsible for 25 percent of a building’s consumed energy. Imagine the difference energy-efficient window film could make if its use was more widespread.
As Rachel Young, ACEEE Research Analyst and lead author of the report explains, the U.S. needs to become more energy-efficient if it wants to remain competitive in the global marketplace: “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.”
And the Winners Are…
Germany took top honors, followed by Italy, the European Union as a whole, China, and France. Germany’s Dr. Philipp Ackermann commented that “every kilowatt hour of electricity that is not consumed saves on fossil fuels and the construction of power plants and grids.” This speaks to a possible overall economic advantage over the U.S. because, according to the report, “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.”
To learn more, download the entire report.