When measured for energy efficiency, Australia is a long way behind other industrialised countries.

Poor energy efficiency performance affects Australia’s competitiveness by increasing energy bills and greenhouse gases.

The 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard produced by US think tank the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), ranked Australia 16 out of 23 countries in a comprehensive assessment that took into account energy efficiency performance and policy settings.

EEC chief executive Luke Menzel said the report underlined the fact that Australia has fallen well behind our global competitors.

“Australia lags well behind other wealthy countries on energy efficiency,” Menzel said. “In fact we’re in the same group as Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Thailand. Australia’s consistently poor rankings for smart energy use are a direct result of energy efficiency being an afterthought in our energy policy.”

“Leaders like Germany take an integrated approach, investing in energy efficiency, battery storage and low carbon generation at the same time.”

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s assessment took into account energy efficiency performance metrics in the building, industrial and transport sectors, as well as government commitments and actions on best practice policy.

“Australia’s performance on building efficiency is reasonable, ranking 9th out of 23 countries. This is due to sensible rules that protect businesses by requiring office owners to advertise how efficient their buildings are when they sell and lease them,” Menzel said.

But Australia’s score for industrial energy efficiency is “woeful”, he said.

Out of 23 nations Australia ranked 21st.

Brazil, Mexico and Russia all performed better than Australia on industrial efficiency, and only South Africa and Saudi Arabia performed worse.

“Successive federal governments have largely ignored energy efficiency and this has badly dented our economy. However, the new Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, has moved energy efficiency to the top of the agenda. Last year, as Minister for Energy and Resources, he set a target to improve Australia’s energy productivity [a measure of energy efficiency] by 40% by 2030,” Menzel said.

“I’m hopeful this terrible global ranking is the wake-up that prompts the energy sector to get behind the Minister.”

The Energy Efficiency Council last week released the Australian Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook which aims to kick-start a discussion about the actions necessary to meet Australia’s energy productivity target, and sets out a suite of evidence-based recommendations.

 

The 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard is available online:  http://aceee.org./research-report/e1602