local level, where national consumer organizations cannot be very helpful. Such organizations, once they establish their credibility by giving useful energy information, could later become self-supporting by monitoring other local consumer services, such as home remodeling and appliance and automobile repair.

Organizational Factors in Energy Use

  1. To improve energy efficiency, private organizations and government agencies should build energy concern into organizational action by employing routines such as separate budgeting of energy costs and life-cycle accounting for energy-related capital investments.

  2. To produce long-lasting change in energy-using practices, private organizations and local energy programs should entrust to an organizational subunit that has a permanent place the responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the changes. Preferably, this subunit should be highly placed in the organization. Changed practices are more persistent when they are institutionalized.

  3. Experiments should be conducted to negotiate agreements to share the costs and benefits of energy efficiency investments between building owners and occupants, especially in multifamily housing. Because such arrangements may not transfer easily, we recommend that pilot projects involve interested parties outside the particular building, such as consumer groups or business associations. Their involvement may help spread the word of a successful agreement and also commit the interested observers to trying to adapt it to other situations.

Energy Emergencies

  1. The federal government should develop an organizational structure for energy emergency preparedness that is broadly based, related to a wide variety of possible contingencies, and well suited to provide continuity for the long term. This structure should be linked with complementary structures at the regional and local levels. Because the possible energy emergencies are varied and their local effects very diverse, it is virtually impossible to develop contingency plans for the specific conditions that will arise. Policy for preparedness should emphasize improving the ability of social systems to respond to diverse and even unanticipated emergency conditions.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement