How does Your Country Rank for Energy Efficiency?

August 18, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Evaluating how countries use energy provides valuable information necessary to identify energy waste, improve energy systems, and promote smarter economic growth. An efficient economy is one that minimizes its energy needs while providing better access to goods and services. "For the past 35 years at ACEEE, we've informed policymakers and the public to advance energy efficiency in the United States through in -depth technical and policy analysis," commented Chetana Kallakuri, Research Analyst, Federal Policy, with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), in a recent blog post.

“We leverage this expertise to understand how other countries manage their energy. Today ACEEE released the 2015 International Scorecard Self-Scoring Tool. Anybody can use this Excel-based tool to analyze the status of energy efficiency in their country or province, and compare themselves with the largest economies of the world,” Kallakuri continued.

The tool is based on the 2014 ACEEE International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which is ACEEE's second comparative study of energy efficiency policies and performance across the 16 top economies of the world. Countries examined include the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Canada, and Australia, along with the European Union as a whole. New entrants in the 2014 race were India, Spain, Mexico, and South Korea. The analysis evaluates each of these economies using 31 metrics in four sectors: national efforts, industry, buildings, and transportation. The new self-scoring tool reflects these advancements. The tool also has a more user-friendly interface than the first version.

“The self-scoring tool is accompanied by a detailed user guide and a case study on South Africa. For the case study, we collected data using centralized sources available in the self-scoring tool and collaborated with South Africa country experts. South Africa scored a total of 36/100, indicating that there is much scope for improvement of energy efficiency in all sectors. More details are available in the case study,” stated Kallakuri.

“The biggest challenge we face in comparing energy efficiency across economies is the lack of quality data. Partly, this difficulty arises from the lack of measurement of energy use in countries. For example, the metric “vehicle miles traveled per capita” in the self-scoring tool is an indicator of fuel used for motorized personal transport. The higher this number, the more the energy consumed for personal transport per capita in the country, and hence the lower the score for this metric. Tracking such data helps not only to understand travel trends of citizens, but also to identify strategies to reduce fuel consumption and formulate policies to provide efficient modes of transport, such as trains, buses, bicycle pathways, etc., that meet the mobility needs of the citizens,” Kallakuri concluded.