Effects of Energy Shortages on the Way We Live.

by Deane N. Morris


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Discusses the use of energy in personal transportation and residential buildings, in terms of both primary energy (fossil fuels consumed) and kilowatt-hours or Btu of direct consumption. Since energy prices may rise far beyond historical levels, consumer response to price increases is uncertain. However, energy conservation by municipal ordinance was highly successful in Los Angeles. Consumption of electricity dropped more than 17 percent below that of the previous year, which represents an even greater curtailment in that there would normally have been a 5 percent yearly increase. Moreover, the reduction has been maintained voluntarily. This success is probably due to the official stating of targets, allowing users to determine their own priorities of where to cut. A desirable strategy is to provide broad incentives for reducing energy use, while leaving the details to private initiative. Under these conditions, consumers can reduce their energy consumption 20-30 percent without any great changes in the way they live, and with no major hardships. (Prepared for The Regional Response to the Energy Crisis: A Conference of Legislative Leaders from the Northeastern States, hosted by the New York State Senate, December 1974.) 22 pp.

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