Energy Efficiency

Published on July 21st, 2014 | by Roy L Hales


Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency

July 21st, 2014 by  

Originally Published in the ECOreport

Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Map showing ranking for Energy Efficiency – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency, according to the 2014 scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today. Sixteen nations were studied. Six of the top 10 were from Europe. Canada was the only North American nation to make the cut, placing 9th.

Table 6 : Final Scores and ranking by country – International Energy  Efficiency Scorecard

Germany is #1 in the World for Energy Efficiency, According to Table 6 : Final Scores and ranking by country – International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

“Germany is a prime example of a nation that has made energy efficiency a top priority,” ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said in a press release. “The United States, long considered an innovative and competitive world leader, has progressed slowly and has made limited progress since our last report, even as Germany, Italy, China, and other nations surge ahead.”

German Trade and Invest issued a press release noting that:

The study praised Germany’s comprehensive energy strategy and awarded the country maximum points for its building codes, retrofit policies, and tax credit and loan programs.

“Germany’s commitment to creating a framework that encourages investment in energy efficiency has made it a world-leading market in the field,” says Henning Ellermann, energy efficiency industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest.

For example, Germany’s state development bank’s building renovation loan program stimulated private investments of over EUR 34 billion (USD 46 billion) in 2013, government figures show. Germany also offers SMEs subsidies of up to 30% for improvements to the efficiency of their manufacturing processes made by upgrading technology and equipment

The ACEEE report lauded Germany’s target of a 20% reduction in primary energy consumption by 2020 and 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels, and awarded the country first place for energy efficiency in the industrial sector.

“We are doing well but there are still a lot of untapped business opportunities in the German energy efficiency sector that make great economic sense even without subsidies,” says Ellermann, who assists companies looking to establish a presence in Germany.

Table 19: Buildings sector scores by country  – Courtesy 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Table 19: Buildings sector scores by country – Courtesy 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The EU intends to establish a near zero energy standard for all new buildings by 2012.

“For Germany’s construction sector — the largest in the EU — the Energy Saving Ordinance will have a major impact,” Ellermann said.  “The regulations call for a 25 percent reduction in energy use for all new residential and non-residential buildings built from January 1, 2016. As of 2021, the EU’s nearly zero energy standard will apply to all new buildings.”

Italy was only one point behind Germany and was given the highest marks for transportation.

Table 3. Total final energy consumption per capita – Courtesy International Energy Efficiency ScorecardThe 28 member European Union was evaluated as one country and placed third overall, behind two of its members.  The EU, France and Italy tied on their scores for national energy efficiency efforts.

Canada’s relative strong standing, in North America, came about because it has “energy-savings targets in place and (is) offering incentives and loans for efficiency improvements.” The marks for buildings were also good: Canada, Australia and Spain tied for 6th in this category.

We never-the less “scored low in industrial efficiency and would benefit from establishing a mandate for plant energy managers and mandatory energy audits.”

Canada was among the worst nations in terms of the “number of vehicle miles traveled per person,” only exceeded by the US and Australia and scored lowest in terms of total energy consumption.

The report’s evaluation of the US was scathing, using terms like “inefficiency,” “a tremendous waste of energy resources and money” and “limited progress.”

“How can the United States compete in a global economy if it continues to waste money and energy that other industrialized nations save and can reinvest?” the authors ask.

U.S. Congressman Peter Welch (Vermont) said: “There’s really no excuse for the U.S. lagging behind other nations on energy efficiency.

Figure 2: Country Scores by Sector – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

Figure 2: Country Scores by Sector – Courtesy 2014 International Energy efficiency Scorecard

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • Vensonata

    I’m a bit late here but I would like to know which U.S. State is most efficient and if it compares to Germany. California? If so, at 37 million it is larger than all the Scandinavian countries put together. Anybody out there know?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Here are some electricity numbers.

      2011 Germany 7,081 kWh per capita.

      2010 California 6,721 kWh per capita.

  • Vive Quebec libre!

    EU is not a country. Who did not deliberately know it?

    • Bob_Wallace

      You mean this?

      “The 28 member European Union was evaluated as one country and placed third overall, behind two of its members.”

      If that’s the case then I would have to wonder why you attempted to make something out of nothing.

  • Eric Jarvi

    LOL china 4…

  • Duhh

    Germany also has power shortages and is on its way to blackouts in the near future.

  • Andrew

    course US is number #13, illuminati.

  • eserve70

    Sounds like some serious business.

  • bannedforselfcensorship

    Now, which country met Kyoto targets and which country did not?

  • PQplusBLOCegalTDC

    “Canada was among the worst nations in terms of the “number of vehicle miles traveled per person,”

    In Canada you have to drive hours, if not days to get to the next city. That’s what happens when you are the world’s 2nd largest country.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Might be the 2nd largest, but you huddle along your southern boarder. Apparently trying to get warm? ;o)

    • Hardly an excuse to destroy your arboreal forests in a bid to extract shale oil.

      • Joshua Burstyn

        True. Particularly when EVs or biofuel could help lessen fossil fuel usage. I also note that on the industrial scale we’re bad as well. This is no doubt due to the oil sands, a constant reminder of how behind the times our industrial sector has become.

        Thankfully Harper looks to be on the way out… things may change.

  • armann24

    anyone noticed there are 2 nr 4 no number 5, :p on the map…

    • Bob_Wallace


      China and France at 61 points each.

      • Fersun Enerji Limited

        Like Japan and UK (they are both 57 points each)

  • davidhouston

    It should be noted that this ranking system is heavily weighted by green “policies” the ACEEE approve of, as opposed to pure mathematical efficiency metrics.

    • How would it rank using your metrics? (remember to show your work)

  • davidhouston

    Of course Germany has the highest energy costs in the world as well, I wonder if that is related?

  • vensonata

    And so we see that “negawatts” are more important than new technology for energy production, or even the falling price of solar panels and wind mills. Efficiency alone could eliminate the use of coal in first world countries. Net zero houses are a bold, but obvious move in Germany and should be so throughout the world. 2020 is a reasonable date to have all new construction aim for net zero. Retrofit is an enormous job in the U.S. 100 million houses need 10 thousand put in to them for upgrades…good employment opportunity.

    • Matt

      In the US still push against net-zero for homes. Look at that wasted study where the claim they need $170k extra to build to net-zero. Yet can build net-zero office at no extra cost. Someone if messing with us. There is no national zoning in US, not even state. It is at the local level. The good news is the national recommendations are being adopted faster now than in the past. There is a good chance that by 2020 at least 75% of local zoning boards with have adopted at least 2000 recommendations.

  • Frederik

    Only 20 countries are listed; if certain smaller countries had been included (like the Scandinavian countries), they might have been even better than Germany.

  • Mickey Askins

    With the help of the far right the U.S. could be in twentieth place in no time. Beware of GOP legislation against green energy.

    • Beware of GOP legislation in general!

    • Kukuberd

      GO Tesla!

  • Chris Marshalk

    If only Australia didn’t have an idiotic prime minister who pro-coal & anti – green everything, we could of been no.1.

    • No way

      You are number one in the world… in coal burning per capita… That’s not something one government has done or can change easily. Peoples general mentality needs to change…

      • Dominic Powell

        Yeah, that is true, but at the same time people in Australia are gettind educated and making their homes run of solar, to the point where Coal plants are forcibly closing in Australia, because they have no one to really sell power to for a profit

        • No way

          I hope you also put pressure on government, utilities and mining companies to replace the coal plants which are still needed too with something clean.
          And to close the coal mines. Even if not used by australia every tonne of coal mined and exported will do a lot of harm.

          • Dominic Powell

            Yeah I am not from Australia actually, I just very vividly remember that Article. the US has a BIG problem regarding Solar. The entire eastern half is basically totally disassociated from the grid. You have to basically run single cell installations.

            Tesla’s battery technology for a house can’t come soon enough.

  • StefanoR99

    To be fair, the figures for the USA should be broken down state by state and then the country as a whole to be properly compared against the european countries.

    • aar_nr

      really good point. when you consider population density and geography by state/region. Some parts of the country are very different than others

    • Dän

      The EU is ranked 3rd. Is that comparison enough?

      • idk

        Is Germany not part of the EU?

        • Tangy

          i have no idea what kinda figures these are but the EU consists of Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Gremany and many other countries so i have no idea what those numbers represent and therefore they are useless.

      • Scottish Frog

        I think it must be the EU average, so we can see that Germany is one of the more efficient EU countries while Spain is one of the less efficient EU countries, for example. It could even be an average of the smaller EU countries that aren’t mentioned on the list, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, etc. I’m not sure. :/

  • nakedChimp

    First the World Cup now this.. awww 🙂

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