The UK has topped the table as the most energy efficient of 12 major economies as ranked by the first International Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
The not-for-profit American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy(ACEEE) commissioned the scorecard using the same system it employs when ranking US states. A total of 12 nations were ranked in 27 categories, each with a possible score of 100.
The UK came first followed by Germany, Japan, Italy and France. Then came the European Union as a whole, which tied for sixth place with Australia and China. The US was awarded ninth place and was followed by Brazil and Canada with Russia ranked last.
Although the UK topped the chart in the categories relating to industry and tied for first place with Italy, China and Germany for scores concerning transport, China took the top spot for energy efficiency in buildings, perhaps indicating a valuable learning resource for the UK.
ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.
“Unfortunately, our results show that nowhere is the vast potential for improvements in energy efficiency being completely realized. While many countries achieved notable success, none received a perfect score in any category – proving that there is much that all countries can still learn from each other.”
The ACEEE system considers 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 actual energy use such as the amount of energy consumed by a country relative to its gross domestic product, average miles per gallon of vehicles, and energy consumed per square foot of floor space in residential properties.
Greg Barker, secretary of state for climate change, said: “I am particularly pleased that the UK is ranked first of the 12 economies considered by the study. Making our buildings and industries more energy efficient is a significant challenge, one that will take years to meet; doing so cost effectively will mean drawing on the experiences of others.”
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