Fig. 4. Canadian government advertisement for insulation (#1)

SOURCE: Energy, Mines and Resources Canada

The difference between the Canadian and U.S. approaches appears to lie partly in the extent to which energy conservation is defined as a public interest in the two countries. This, in turn, relates to dominant conceptions of energy, as described in Chapter 2. To the extent that energy is defined as an ordinary commodity, informational functions are likely to be left to producers of fuels and manufacturers of energy-using equipment, possibly with some regulation to guard against fraud. If, however, energy is seen as an ecological resource, a necessity, or a strategic material, a public interest in controlling energy use is implied, and more aggressive governmental programs are justified. So far, these latter views of energy and the interests they serve have not been sufficiently influential in U.S. politics

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