New “International Energy Efficiency Scorecard” Puts China Ahead of US

An intriguing new report released last week by the nonprofit research institute the American Council For An Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), analyzed the energy efficiency standings of twelve of the globe’s top economies. The ACEEE’s “International Energy Efficiency Scorecard” used twenty-seven different metrics, including industry, building, and transportation, to come up with the rankings. The ACEEE also created a map, shown below, which shows the relative standings of each country surveyed and uses icons to single out a variety of key metrics (click to view the graphic full size).

ACEEE Energy Scorecard Map 2012 – click to view fullsize

What may surprise some readers is that China tied the European Union and Australia for sixth place, coming in well ahead of the United States, in ninth place. Who topped the list? As it turns out, the most energy efficient nation amongst the tweve chosen by ACEEE for the study was the United Kingdom.

So what is boosting China’s ranking and what is holding the US back? China’s building sector got top marks in the survey – beating out Australia for first place. China also scored well for transportation – in a four-way tie with the UK, Germany, Italy, and Germany.

The report posits that, surprisingly, the US has made little progress in energy efficiency at a national level over the past decade. The ACEEE singles out the transportation sector. Though the US scored well in building technology and efficiency, low fuel economy standards, inefficient public transit, and high vehicle miles traveled combined to put the US near the bottom of the list.

The ACEEE report declares that energy efficiency is key to competing in a global economy – enabling nations to capture wasted money and energy. According to the ACEEE, one of the purposes of creating surveys such as this one is to point out opportunities for improvement — highlighting the fact that every nation has room to improve on energy efficiency. The China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance is working toward making this message a reality through our training programs and support of international cooperation on efficiency.

For more details, check out the entire report from ACEEE here.