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World Cup of Energy Efficiency

Fifa World Cup

I’ve keenly followed all the excitement in the World Cup this year and have been just as surprised as everyone else with the continued upsets. Brazil, I’m looking at you right now (Selection of front pages from Brazil newspapers). My result in the office pool is a pretty good indicator of how well I did (or didn’t do, in reality) at anticipating the surprising results in the FIFA World Cup.  Spoiler alert – at least I’m ranking higher in the office pool than Canada is at energy efficiency.

With all of this World Cup action, I thought it was great timing to read the The ACEEE International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, or what I like to think of as the World Cup of Energy Efficiency. Coming up, you’ll see who’s sitting at the highest podium, the Post Game Analysis of Canada’s results and the International Dream Team.

The results of the efficiency World Cup are just as surprising as the results of the football World Cup.  I’m sure some of the countries in the top of this list wish they ranked as high in as they did in efficiency (ahem, England, ahem).

The Winners Are

World Cup of Energy Efficiency Winners

Unlike the football World Cup, the most interesting observation about the efficiency rankings isn’t the final position, it’s how much untapped opportunity there is in each of the countries.  Even UK, who ranks as number one, scores just 67 out of a possible 100 points.  This means that even with best national efficiency score in the World Cup, there is still dramatic room for improvement.

Source: The ACEEE 2012 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (

Source: The ACEEE 2012 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (

With all of these international scorecards, it’s always interesting to know where your own country ranked.  Looking at Canada’s scores, we were just out of the top 10 at position number 11 with a score of 37.

Results of the Energy Efficiency World Cup


Source: The ACEEE 2012 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (

Source: The ACEEE 2012 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (

Post-Game Analysis

11th place in the world doesn’t sound that bad until you realize we didn’t even receive a passing grade.  So what happened? Why did Canada have a “Brazil game” in the efficiency World Cup?  Just like any sporting event, the metrics matter. We need to drill down into the metrics and see why Canada performed so poorly. First, let’s look at how the scores were calculated.  The country score is the sum of its points on each of the 4 categories:  National Efforts, Buildings, Industry and Transportation.

Country Score - World Cup of Energy Efficiency

Here are Canada’s results for each of the categories:

We may have been ranked the 11th country overall, but looking at these results, I think it has more to do with the poor state of energy efficiency around the globe than a stellar result from our country.  With a total score of 37, where did our greatest number of points come from?  Here are the top 5 scoring sub-categories that lead to our whopping 37 points:

Canada - Top 5 scoring sub-categories - World Cup of Energy Efficiency

The International Dream Team

One of the most interesting conclusions from this study is that a top score was awarded in each of the categories and sub-categories but never to a single country.  What does that mean?  It means that with a little bit of time and research Canada could put together a Dream Team of energy efficiency, be ranked at the top of the pile and reap all of the economic benefits that come with lower energy intensity and lower energy costs.

If you’ve made it this far down the post, I know I’ve piqued your interest and recommend that you read page 33 of the report.  It outlines the best practices from all the countries that make up the International Dream Team. I’m happy to note, Canada gets a couple of honorable mentions in the Dream List.

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, there is a substantial economic incentive to holding the top positions in the energy efficiency list. Kate has identified a $55 billion opportunity with Intelligent Efficiency in her blog post Big Data for Big Savings: ACEEE Report Outlines the Future of Energy Efficiency and, more recently, talked about the $80 billion spent charging our little devices in More Data, Less Energy. Make sure you read her articles to get a head start on moving your company to the top of the list of Canada’s most efficient companies.

What is your company doing to win your own efficiency World Cup?