Australia has been ranked the worst performing major developed country in the world in energy efficiency, according to a new global report.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE)2018 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks Australia 18th among the world’s 25 largest energy users, a fall from its 16th-place position in the 2016 ranking.
The report also shows Australia lagging behind developing nations such as India, Indonesia and China.
“Australia’s deteriorating performance on this international index is a wake-up call for policymakers, planners, and business leaders,” Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel said.
“Our global competitors are saving energy and money with smart energy efficiency policy and investments, while Australia lags at the back of the pack.”
Australia ranked near the bottom on industrial and transport energy efficiency in the report, which assessed countries on both policy and performance.
Its strongest score was in building energy efficiency.
“While this result is disappointing, it points to a huge opportunity,” Mr Menzel said.
“We can quickly cut energy bills, while making our homes more comfortable and our businesses more productive by being much smarter about how we use energy.
“Taking advantage of this opportunity will require strong government leadership, and smart new energy efficiency policies that help us keep energy affordable while we transition to a twenty-first century energy system.”
ACEEE senior advisor for research and report author Shruti Vaidyanathan said Australia would definitely benefit from stronger energy efficiency policies that save money, create jobs, cut pollution and reduce dependence on energy imports.
“Without stronger energy efficiency measures, it will also be impossible for countries, including Australia, to meet the commitments necessary to achieving the global climate goal of capping temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius,” Ms Vaidyanathan said.
The report acknowledged Australia’s National Energy Productivity Plan, which aims to improve energy productivity by 40 per cent between 2015 and 2030, but said implementation of the plan has been slow.