It might seem as though energy efficiency is on a roll lately, especially after getting a shot in the arm from President Obama as part of his climate action plan.
But energy efficiency covers a wide range of areas, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just launched its first annual white paper on fifteen key indicators that can help the government and stakeholders understand where progress is being made and where there is more work to be done.
If you are an optimist, a glance at the chart below shows that we’re doing OK, with modest progress in many areas. Only one indicator, combined heat and power (CHP) in industry, saw a small backslide from 2011 to 2010. Aggressive increases in CHP, however, is also a goal of the Obama administration, and should see a boost in coming years.
“The United States is becoming more energy-efficient, but the improvements we measured are generally small, indicating that we are still wasting tremendous amounts of energy,” Naomi Baum, chief operating officer for ACEEE, wrote in a blog post. “The small improvements we see in the rest of the indicators indicate that we have yet to embrace energy efficiency as a principal objective and are not doing enough to realize its full potential.”