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What is Energy Conservation Management?

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  • Written By: C. Martin
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Energy conservation management is the management of processes and policies designed to reduce energy usage. There are two main ways that are usually used to manage the conservation of energy. Firstly, consumption may be reduced such that fewer services and utilities that require energy are used. Secondly, energy efficiency may be increased so that the same services are delivered but with less usage of energy.

As growing populations and increasing per capita energy demand results in higher and higher energy use, energy conservation management provides an important way of keeping down the cost of energy. This process can help reduce the demand for building new power plants, reduce the cost of importing additional energy across borders, and facilitate the handling of acute energy shortages. Conserving energy is often seen as a more environmentally friendly way of dealing with some of these issues than simply increasing the output of energy from existing means of production.

Some of the key areas in which energy conservation management is important include the transportation, industrial, and consumer or residential sectors. The transportation sector accounts for a high percentage of energy usage in Western countries. In this sector, managing energy conservation might include measures such as imposing higher taxes on vehicles that use large amounts of fuel per mile, investing in research to create engines with greater energy efficiency, or encouraging consumers to increase their consumption of local produce.

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Measures that could be used in the industrial sector in order to encourage energy conservation may include energy efficient building design, the reduction in usage of air conditioning during the summer months by improved ventilation, or implementing movement sensitive lights. For the residential sector, energy conservation is often motivated by the reduction in the cost of energy bills for individual householders. Common approaches to reduce residential energy usage may include installing energy efficient electrical devices, improving loft insulation, or installing double glazed windows.

Environmental concerns, particularly regarding the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting air pollution, give impetus to energy conservation management. A holistic energy policy is likely to include conservation of energy as well as the important strategies of clean energy and renewable energy. As such, a sustainable energy policy may include reduction in energy usage as well as identifying alternative sources of energy. One major issue concerning energy conservation management relates to the theory that improvements that increase energy efficiency will tend to increase rather than reduce overall energy usage.

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Fiorite
Post 3

@cougars- I think what submariner might be implying is that energy conservation and efficiency need to be examined together. There are plenty of ways to control supply and demand curves, thus influencing energy conservation to realize the benefits of improved efficiency. You can increase gas taxes, create price floors, or find another way to regulate the markets to reach energy demand and energy mix goals.

You could even go so far as to deregulate the energy industry in the sense of reversing fossil fuel subsidies. Fossil fuels are only so cheap because our government subsidizes much of the exploration, mining, and production of fossil fuels. If we change our priorities on the types of energy that we want to subsidize and support, then driving become less enticing than alternatives and public transit.

cougars
Post 2

@submariner- So what are you saying? Are you saying that energy efficiency is not important or are you advocating for a revision of energy management solutions? How are we supposed to control the natural supply demand curve of the markets?

submariner
Post 1

I have been reading studies that are finding that energy efficiency alone is not as effective a way of energy conservation and management as previously thought. The short-term benefits of efficiency improvements act to drive the market demand down, creating cheaper energy prices, which naturally lead to higher consumption.

Take for example CAFE standards. Energy efficiency has increased markedly, but consumption has still greatly outpaced population growth by about four to five times. The stark reality is that those who drive vehicles that are more efficient often drive more than those who drive gas hungry vehicles. Maybe this is due to a greater awareness of fuel prices amongst those who drive gas hungry vehicles, but the jury is still out on the exact cause of this phenomenon.

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