Monday, July 21, 2014

Germany Tops Energy Efficiency Scorecard While U.S. Lags

Transit depot, Munich (Credit: La Citta Vita, Flickr) Click to enlarge.
Based on both policy and performance, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s International Scorecard put Germany first among the 16 major economies – accounting for 81 percent of global output – that were studied. Italy was second and the European Union as a whole was third.  The United States sat far down the list in the 13th spot. The U.S. performed especially poorly in the transportation sector, ranking 15th.

“I’m excited about this report, but not excited about the U.S. place in this report,” Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) said in an ACEEE-organized conference call.  Welch has been working with Colorado Republican Cory Gardner on legislation to expand the use of energy performance contracting in federal buildings, one of a number of bills with bipartisan support that hasn’t been able to make it through one of the least productive Congresses in memory.

Nevertheless, the ACEEE report did acknowledge some U.S. progress “in such areas as building codes, appliance standards, voluntary partnerships between government and industry, and, recently, fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks.”  And there’s hope that proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rules on carbon emissions could spur states to act to improve energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency will get a lot more attention if EPA finalizes this rule,” ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said.  “Energy efficiency is the low-cost compliance path for basically all the states – it often does the majority of what each state needs to do to meet the target.”  The EPA has committed to finalizing the rule by next June.

Germany Tops Energy Efficiency Scorecard While U.S. Lags

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