The average American uses twice as much energy as the average person in Britain, according to the Energy Flowcharts from 2012 published by Outlier.
In 2012, America expended 11 times more energy than the United Kingdom, although it only has five times as many people. With an energy efficiency of just 39 percent, the amount of energy the U.S. wasted in 2012 could power the UK for seven years.
The average US household used 2.7 times more electricity and 1.3 times more natural gas than a British household. Despite being the European Union’s largest oil producer, the UK quadrupled it’s renewable energy use since 2000, according to Outlier.
Back in 1970 the US economy used more energy than it wasted, according to Christian Science Monitor. It’s energy efficiency was more than 50 percent. For a decade the National Laboratory estimated US waste was around 58 percent, but the 2012 revealed it to be much lower.
But energy industries in both countries, coal, gas, nuclear, and renewable, are still very similar. So what gives?
Transportation in both countries is primarily petroleum power, but vehicles in the UK have a 65 percent better fuel economy that vehicles in the US. People in the US also drive twice as many miles as Brits.
Some cultural differences drive a wedge energy-wise. Brits don’t have as many air conditioners or swimming pools. Apparently, Brits are also far more likely to hang their laundry out to dry.
Those factors, coupled with the fact that the UK unveiled a new £39 million national Energy Efficiency Strategy, puts the nation ahead of the US.
Physicist Robert Ayres said a 39 percent efficiency rating for the US was an overstatement. He said it should be more like 14 percent.
Senior researcher at the National Laboratory A.J. Simon said the giant change in US efficiency is in part due to changes in the way we calculated the end use of energy for vehicles or homes. We now calculate energy efficiency for air conditioning, lighting, heating and the ineternal combustion engine as much lower than formerly rated.