There is a sense of excitement in the wake of a momentous Paris Climate Agreement and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals last year. The "energy revolution" is already underway, the consequences of which are far-reaching, transforming the way we do business, build our homes and live our lives.
But there's an even more immediate solution available to all of us, and it will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but save money as well. It's the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency. From the largest business to the smallest household, energy efficiency is the first step in building a sustainable future.
As individuals and businesses go, so goes an entire nation. Courtesy of the home improvement experts at HalfPrice.com.au, the infographic below illustrates the most energy efficient countries in the world, based on information from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). As this infographic demonstrates, one important aspect of promoting energy efficiency is government policy and incentives:
“Germany is a prime example of a nation that has made energy efficiency a top priority," said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel in a 2014 press release.
"The United States, long considered an innovative and competitive world leader," said Nadel, "has progressed slowly and made little progress since our last report."
For nations like the U.S. with significant room from improvement, this can seen as a "glass-half-full" situation as there are many "untapped" opportunities for improving efficiency, saving money and reducing carbon emissions.