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The U.S. is lagging behind most of the world's other major economies regarding energy efficiency, ranking 13th out of 16, according to the latest report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

ACEEE says its 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard report ranked 16 leading economies representing 81% of global gross domestic product and 71% of global energy consumption.

On a scale of 100 possible points in 31 categories, the nations were ranked by ACEEE as follows: (1) Germany; (2) Italy; (3) the European Union; (tied for 4) China; (tied for 4) France; (tied for 6) Japan; (tied for 6) the U.K.; (8) Spain; (9) Canada; (10) Australia; (11) India; (12) South Korea; (13) the U.S.; (14) Russia; (15) Brazil; and (16) Mexico.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., comments, "There's really no excuse for the U.S. lagging behind other nations on energy efficiency. States like Vermont have demonstrated that energy efficiency saves money, reduces environmental impact and creates jobs. And, in an environment of gridlock, there is bipartisan common ground on this issue in Congress. I hope the 2014 International Scorecard is a wakeup call that it's time for America to step up and lead on energy efficiency."

The ACEEE report points out that while the U.S. has made some progress toward greater energy efficiency in recent years, the overall story is disappointing.

According to ACEEE, "The inefficiency in the U.S. economy means a tremendous waste of energy resources and money. Across most metrics analyzed in this International Scorecard, in the past decade, the United States has made limited progress toward greater efficiency at the national level. The overall U.S. score of 42 is less than half of the possible points and is 23 points away from the top spot. Further, the United States falls behind Canada, Australia, India and South Korea.

“These scores suggest that this list of countries may have an economic advantage over the United States because using less energy to produce and transport the same economic output costs them less. Their efforts to improve efficiency likely make their economies more nimble and resilient."

In its analysis, ACEEE says it outlines a number of recommendations for the U.S., highlighting four major opportunities for increased energy efficiency: passing a national energy savings target, strengthening national model building energy codes, supporting education and training in the industrial sectors, and prioritizing energy efficiency in transportation spending.

Furthermore, ACEEE says the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently proposed carbon pollution standards for existing power plants would be a major stride in the direction of greater energy efficiency in the U.S.






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