Energy conservation policies
Low-energy building techniques and technologies in an Energy conserving building.
Electrical energy conservation is an important element of energy policy. Energy conservation
reduces the energy consumption and energy demand per capita and thus offsets some of the
growth in energy supply needed to keep up with population growth. This reduces the rise in
energy costs, and can reduce the need for new power plants, and energy imports. The reduced
energy demand can provide more flexibility in choosing the most preferred methods of energy
By reducing emissions, energy conservation is an important part of lessening climate change.
Energy conservation facilitates the replacement of non-renewable resources with renewable
energy. Energy conservation is often the most economical solution to energy shortages, and is a
more environmentally being alternative to increased energy production.
Energy conservation by country
Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) www.pcra.org is an Indian government
body created in 1976 and engaged in promoting energy efficiency and conservation in every
walk of life. In the recent past PCRA has done mass media campaigns in television, radio & print
media. An impact assessment survey by a third party revealed that due to these mega campaigns
by PCRA, overall awareness level have gone up leading to saving of fossil fuels worth crores of
rupees besides reducing pollution.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency is an Indian governmental organization created in 2002 responsible
for promoting energy efficiency and conservation.
Advertising with high energy in Shinjuku, Japan.
Since the 1973 oil crisis, energy conservation has been an issue in Japan. All oil based fuel is
imported, so indigenous sustainable energy is being developed.
The Energy Conservation Center promotes energy efficiency in every aspect of Japan. Private
entities are implementing the efficient use of energy for industries.
In Lebanon and since 2002 The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) has been
promoting the development of efficient and rational uses of energy and the use of renewable
energy at the consumer level. It was created as a project financed by the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) and the Ministry of Energy Water (MEW) under the management of the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and gradually established itself as an independent
technical national center although it continues to be supported by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) as indicated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
signed between MEW and UNDP on June 18, 2007.
In New Zealand the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is responsible for promoting
energy efficiency and conservation.
At the end of 2006, the European Union-EU pledged to cut its annual consumption of primary
energy by 20% by 2020. The 'European Union Energy Efficiency Action Plan' is long awaited.
As part of the EU's SAVE Programme, aimed at promoting energy efficiency and encouraging
energy-saving behaviour, the Boiler Efficiency Directive specifies minimum levels of
efficiency for boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels.
Energy conservation in the United Kingdom has been receiving increased attention over recent
years. Key factors behind this are the Government's commitment to reducing carbon emissions,
the projected 'energy gap' in UK electricity generation, and the increasing reliance on imports to
meet national energy needs. Domestic housing and road transport are currently the two biggest
Responsibility for energy conservation fall between three Government departments although is
led by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The Department for
Communities and Local Government (CLG) is still responsible for energy standards in buildings,
and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) retains a residual interest
in energy insofar as it leads to emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas. The Department for
Transport retains many responsibilities for energy conservation in transport. At an operational
level, there are two main non-departmental governmental bodies ("quangoes") - the Energy
Saving Trust, working mainly in the domestic sector with some interest in transport, and the
Carbon Trust, working with industry and innovative energy technologies. In addition there are
many independent NGOs working in the sector such as the Centre for Sustainable Energy in
Bristol or the National Energy Foundation in Milton Keynes.
The United States is currently the largest single consumer of energy. The U.S. Department of
Energy categorizes national energy use in four broad sectors: transportation, residential,
commercial, and industrial.
Energy usage in transportation and residential sectors, about half of U.S. energy consumption, is
largely controlled by individual domestic consumers. Commercial and industrial energy
expenditures are determined by businesses entities and other facility managers. National energy
policy has a significant effect on energy usage across all four sectors, and its strengthening is
part of the 2010 Presidential-Congressional legislative debate.
Issues with energy conservation
Advocates and critics of various forms and policies of energy conservation debate some issues,
Standard economic theory suggests that technological improvements increase energy
efficiency, rather than reduce energy use. This is called the Jevons Paradox and it is said
to occur in two ways. Firstly, increased energy efficiency makes the use of energy
relatively cheaper, thus encouraging increased use. Secondly, increased energy efficiency
leads to increased economic growth, which pulls up energy use in the whole economy.
This does not imply that increased fuel efficiency is worthless, increased fuel efficiency
enables greater production and a higher quality of life. However, in order to reduce
energy consumption, efficiency gains must be paired with a government intervention that
reduces demand (a green tax, cap and trade).
Some retailers argue that bright lighting stimulates purchasing. However, health studies
have demonstrated that headache, stress, blood pressure, fatigue and worker error all
generally increase with the common over-illumination present in many workplace and
retail settings. It has been shown that natural daylighting increases productivity levels
of workers, while reducing energy consumption.
The use of telecommuting by major corporations is a significant opportunity to conserve
energy, as many Americans now work in service jobs that enable them to work from
home instead of commuting to work each day.
Electric motors consume more than 60% of all electrical energy generated and are
responsible for the loss of 10 to 20% of all electricity converted into mechanical
Consumers are often poorly informed of the savings of energy efficient products. The
research one must put into conserving energy often is too time consuming and costly
when there are cheaper products and technology available using today's fossil fuels.
Some governments and NGOs are attempting to reduce this complexity with ecolabels
that make differences in energy efficiency easy to research while shopping.
Technology needs to be able to change behavioural patterns, it can do this by allowing
energy users, business and residential, to see graphically the impact their energy use can
have in their workplace or homes. Advance real-time energy metering is able to help
"people" save energy by their actions. Rather than become wasteful automatic energy
saving technologies, real-time energy monitors and meters such as the Energy Detective,
Enigin Plc's Eniscope, Ecowizard, or solutions like EDSA'a Paladin Live are examples of
such solutions