Energy Demand in the Future--Reducing the Growth Rate.

by Ronald D. Doctor

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Describes energy utilization in the United States and proposes measures for conserving energy without economic dislocation. Demand for electricity has been growing 8 to 8-1/2 percent each year. Reducing demand growth to 3 percent would buy time to develop technologies based on renewable resources and technologies with minimum adverse environmental impact. Of major importance are: (1) improved insulation in all new housing, (2) substituting gas for electricity in heating, water heating, cooking, clothes drying, and possibly air conditioning and refrigeration, (3) using solar energy for heating, cooling, and water heating in new residential construction, and (4) reducing wasteful commercial lighting. With present technology, direct use of solar energy could handle 70 percent of residential heating and cooling. State actions could include (1) consumer education and requirements for efficiency labeling of appliances, (2) financial incentives and disincentives through taxation, and (3) if necessary, restrictions--ranging from barring utility promotion to rationing, which would be a last resort. 26 pp.

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