- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) issued its 2018 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard on Tuesday, ranking the United States 10th out of 25 large energy-consuming economies considered in the review.
- The country's score dropped to 55.5 points out of 100, compared with 61.5 in the previous ranking. According to ACEEE, the drop is "due to policy changes and some revisions to our scoring methodology." It is the first efficiency ranking the group has published since President Trump announced the United States would not participate in the Paris climate accord.
- ACEEE noted that "no country came close to a perfect score," leaving plenty of room for improvement. Germany and Italy tied for first with 75.5 points, closely followed by France (73.5), the United Kingdom (73) and Japan (67).
The average score in the biennial efficiency scorecard remained unchanged, said ACEEE, at 51 points — but along with the United States' lower score, the country also dropped two slots in the rankings. Previously the U.S. had been 8th on the list, an improvement from 13th in 2014.
While there is ample room for improvement globally and domestically, ACEEE points out that the United States is "one of very few large energy consuming economies that does not have national energy reduction targets in place."
The assessment also indicates the country's policy changes are having an impact, which are likely to continue under President Trump without a change in policy.
However, the report notes the U.S. also makes "significant investments" in efficiency programs and research and development and has tax incentives and loan programs to drive efficiency. The country "makes energy data easily accessible to both citizens and international audiences," through the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
ACEEE say the group is troubled by the United States' slide in the rankings.
"This trend is likely to persist if the current administration continues to dismantle key regulations," Shruti Vaidyanathan, ACEEE’s senior advisor for research, said in a statement. "At imminent risk are joint fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2021 onwards, a program that put the United States at the forefront of vehicle efficiency efforts."
In April the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency opened fuel standards for review and work to improve appliance standards has slowed.
"The administration's focus on energy production rather than efficiency has meant that progress on federal energy efficiency policies has largely stalled," ACEEE said in its announcement.