According to research just completed by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy [ACEEE], in spite of climate change legislation, the US has made only moderate progress in maximizing energy efficiency across the board.
But wait, “Our vehicles are more energy efficient than ever before!” you may counter, and you’d be absolutely right. As of December 2012, as a matter of fact, the average fuel economy of the entire light vehicle fleet hit an all-time high of 23.9mpg. Way to go, America!
On the other hand, vehicle fuel economy is just a small part of America’s energy efficiency. Just like many people may head to their primary physician every year or so for their annual checkup, the doctor checks out your whole body as a system. He doesn’t just look at your feet [light vehicle fleet] and ignore the rest. Would you be satisfied if he neglected taking a listen to your heart, checked your blood pressure, and tested a blood sample? After all, if the heart isn’t working, what good are the feet?
America’s just had its first annual checkup, and ACEEE hopes that this will become an annual habit so that we can keep track of the country’s health, both from an energy efficiency standpoint, and an economic standpoint. Energy efficiency and the economy are inextricably linked, and if Amercan industry, power generation, residents and commercial entities don’t use their resources wisely, they might be crushed under the terrible onslaught of the growing Chinese economic powerhouse!
Climate change opponents say green is bad for business, but they’ve got it backwards. Increasing energy efficiency, making better use of limited resources, can only streamline and make business more profitable! So, how is America doing, according to the ACEEE report, “Energy Efficiency: Is the United States Improving?”
According to fifteen indicators chosen by the ACEEE, including such diverse aspects of our energy economy as federal efficiency programs, building efficiency, the light vehicle fleet, public transportation, and power generation, America has made only slight improvement.
As mentioned, America’s made great strides in vehicle fuel economy, as well as household appliance efficiency and updated, greener, building codes. On the other hand, there has been zero improvement in adoption of public transportation, and the energy efficiency of freight trucks, trains, and planes. There’s even been some worsening in industrial efficiency.
Overall, America’s made slight improvement, but just as your primary physician might send you to a specialist after your checkup shows a heart condition, ACEEE’s report shows where we need to improve. Any increase in energy efficiency means a corresponding increase in productivity and profitability. Let’s get to it!