Energy Conservation: Long-Overlooked Cheap Source of Energy

by Eugene E. Dallaire, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 12, Pg. 77-78

Document Type: Feature article


With a well-organized conservation program, the U.S. could slash present energy consumption 30% to 40% — while still maintaining present living standards. But, to date, the U.S. has failed to make major strides in conservation: it lacks glamour; and energy prices are still too low to motivate many to take conservation seriously. One exception is Los Angeles. After the Arab oil embargo in 1973, it started a very effective conservation program, resulting in an energy reduction of 18%. Industry could greatly improve its energy efficiency by cogenerating electricity and heat. Right now, electric utilities generate electricity and waste much heat. Some utilities are actively pushing conservation among customers as an alternative to building new power plants. Meanwhile, other studies show that 30% of the nation's 50,000,000 detached single homes are uninsulated; and that two-thirds need more thermal insulation. Many homes could cut energy use 50%.

Subject Headings: Energy efficiency | Energy consumption | Power plants | Pricing | Motivation | Industries | Waste management | Client relationships | Los Angeles | California | United States

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