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The U.S. vs. E.E.E.E. (Everyone Else's Energy Efficiency): A Global Perspective

4 years ago | Feb 23, 2016

The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, compiled by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the world’s largest economies based on energy efficiency policies and programs.  Thirty-one indicators are analyzed in four different categories: National Efforts, Industry, Buildings, and Transportation.  It’s a great report, but it reflects a sad state of affairs for the U.S.!



















While the report concludes that every country has untapped energy efficiency potential, "the United States - long considered an innovative and competitive world leader - has allowed other nations to surpass it.”  Ouch.   

What’s worse, given the recent Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan, is that the United States is one of only two countries with no national energy-savings plan or national greenhouse gas reduction plan.  The United States scorecard asks a hard question: "how can the United States compete in a global economy if it continues to waste more money and energy than other developed economies?” 


But there’s a bright side to everything!  Here it is: the United States has enormous potential for energy efficiency!  

Energy Efficiency: A Compelling Global Resource reports that the broad use of efficiency measures in homes and businesses could reduce annual energy use by 23%, yielding $1.2 trillion in savings from an investment of $520 billion while reducing up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases annually.


The International Energy Agency 2015 Energy Efficiency Market Report indicates that energy efficiency investments over the last 25 years have enabled consumers to spend $5.7 trillion less on energy with higher levels of energy service.  

The United Nations Foundation’s "Realizing the Potential of Energy Efficiencyencourages world governments to use energy efficiency as the energy resource of first choice, as it is the least expensive and most readily scalable option.  The report urges G8 nations to increase energy efficiency improvements by 2.5% per year, roughly twice the global average.  Doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvement would:

  • avoid $3.0 trillion worth of new generation

  • keep CO2 concentrations below 550 ppmv

  • save consumers $500 billion/year by 2030

  • eliminate the equivalent 2,000 coal power plants

  • return to 2004 energy consumption levels globally, and

  • drive business productivity and employment opportunities.  


The results are in:  energy efficiency is a win-win for the global economy, and it’s time for the U.S. to step up to meet the challenge.  


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