Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases a list of the top 23 most energy-efficient countries. Rankings are based on energy-efficiency for buildings, industry, national, and transportation efforts to reduce energy usage. Each country earns their spot according to accumulated efforts over the previous year.

France has been ranked at number four. Here’s a look at a few highlights.

Energy-Efficient Buildings

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - Energy-Efficient BuildingsFrance’s rank is largely due to the efforts in renovating its buildings to become more energy-efficient. According to the country’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan created in 2014, there are aggressive policies in place to increase the number of low-energy buildings around the country. These policies also include renovating about 500,000 buildings per year to meet the new energy-saving standards for industrial edifices across France.

National and Transportation Efforts

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - National and Transportation EffortsFrance scored high in the national and transportation efforts due to its involvement with the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive. Under this directive, France has committed to reduce its national energy consumption by at least 17 percent by the year 2020. The country is also involved in the European Union Automotive Fuel Economy Policy. This policy sets a fuel standard of receiving up to 56.9 mpg by the year 2025.

Areas to Improve

Top 5 Energy-Efficient Countries Series France - In Text - Areas to ImproveWhile France has exuded many efforts to increase the overall energy savings of the country, there is always room for improvement. Based on the ACEEE’s assessment, France has a “low percentage of installed capacity from CHP (Combined Heat and Power)”. CHP must be increased and new incentives and targets must be in place in order to improve the industrial area. As far as transportation, the ACEEE has deemed that France should invest in more rails rather than roads. This would increase the efficiency of freight transportation which reduces the energy intensity of the country’s transportation system as a whole.