Gita Subramony, ERS, for Zondits
Every year the ACEEE releases a scorecard that ranks the top 23 energy-consuming countries based on energy efficiency policies and performance. They gather data to evaluate metrics on buildings, industry, transportation, and overall national energy efficiency policies and efforts.
According to ACEEE’s analysis, Germany takes the gold medal, with Japan and Italy tying for silver. Brazil, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia were at the bottom of the standings. USA came in 8th place but with an improved score over last year’s evaluation. More national policy efforts and more-aggressive building standards helped the USA gain points. However, China remains two spots ahead at 6th place.
The rankings change a bit when policy metrics or performance metrics are evaluated individually. The EU countries along with China, USA, and Canada round out the top countries for energy efficiency policy. Many of these nations have national energy reduction plans in place that guide national policy efforts to encourage energy efficiency.
So what’s Germany’s secret? The country has decided to accelerate energy efficiency beyond what the EU requires of member nations. Germany has a national plan that targets a reduction of 80% in energy demand from 2008 levels. The plan also calls for greater data collection on energy consumption and efficiency measures so that consumers and businesses can make better energy decisions. In addition, Germany places an emphasis on economic development and business models through energy efficiency.