Energy Conservation: Successes and Failures

By John C. Sawhill; Richard Cotton | Go to book overview

KAREN GRIFFIN


State Government
Conservation Programs

ALTHOUGH much of the funding and program design emanates from Washington, America's energy conservation programs rely heavily on the states. The states are expected to provide consumer information and analytic data, plan and manage grant and loan programs, and regulate public and private activities. Most federal programs, recognizing the tremendous diversity of regional needs and interests, are carried out by delegation of authority and funding to the states.1 Local governments have found it almost impossible to support comprehensive energy programs. With broader basic missions, sustained interest, capacity to build a critical mass of staff, and less vulnerable revenue sources, the states have outperformed most local governments in the development and implementation of conservation programs.

After several years of rapid growth, state energy programs went through a period of reduction and redirection in 1982-84. A new political climate, a recession-related budget squeeze, and a leveling off of energy prices combined to lessen government support for conservation programs. State energy programs still dominate conservation policy, however. There are three reasons that they will continue to do so: a core of effective programs, a new source of state-controlled funding, and the development of off-budget expenditures. Lessons learned since 1973 will have ample opportunity to be applied in the late 1980s. Programs have been winnowed to those that emphasize energy savings as a measure of success. These can be translated into economic development and a decreased call on the state treasury to fund its own energy bills, bail out local governments, or redress the grievances of citizens.

____________________
1
State programs are defined broadly as those that use a high percentage of state personnel or dollars, including those that use the state as an administrative vehicle for federal directives, block grants, state-funded programs, and state regulation.

-205-

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Energy Conservation: Successes and Failures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Tables xi
  • Figures xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Conclusions 16
  • Patterns of Energy Use 19
  • Appendix 46
  • Energy Conservation in American Industry 59
  • Financial Barriers to Investment in Conservation 95
  • Conclusions 130
  • Electric Utility Conservation Programs: Progress and Problems 137
  • Local Energy Conservation Programs 163
  • State Government Conservation Programs 205
  • Energy Conservation in the Federal Government 237
  • Conference Participants 263
  • Index 265
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