|Some suggestions for utilities and
their major customers:
* Utilities can refuse to sell to
industry during peak periods, or sell on an interruptable basis only.
* Utilities could adjust rate schedules
to penalize peak period with higher rates, thus spreading use through the
day and reducing the need to build new power plants.
* Industry could adjust production
schedules to coincide with off-peak hours and months. Perhaps a rate incentive
could be arranged to encourage power use at times when more is available.
* Unions could cooperate with management
to develop work schedules and wage and hour agreements to take advantage
of low power use periods. Perhaps a changeover to night production or increased
winter hours and decreased summer hours.
Some other suggestions for industry:
* Design products that are energy
efficient instead of energy wasteful.
* Build products to last as long
* Detroit has not yet done as well
as it must in providing satisfactory, economical, low cost transportation.
And while failing on this front, has increased both cost of purchase and
cost of operation on its big cars. How about smaller, less expensive, more
economical American cars?
* According to the Environmental
Protection Agency, diesel engines are available that both meet the 1975
pollution standards and use substantially less fuel than today's gasoline
engines. EPA projects that a switch to this diesel engine could reduce
crude oil imports to the United States to the levels of the 1960s. This
seems to be worth further exploration.
The profits shown so far this year by many major
corporations are up 50% and more. And much of this higher profit stems
from production of goods that require a large investment of energy to produce
and a continuing large investment of energy to operate.
Perhaps it is time for these companies to begin
asking themselves if the cost we are all paying in energy, in inflation
and in a devalued dollar is worth the increasing profit of energy gluttony.
Perhaps there are places where a return to human
labor is indicated. There are six million unemployed Americans. In the
long run, it might be cheaper to employ some of them than to plug in a
Government, local, state and federal, is perhaps
the biggest "business" in America. Combined, the various governmental bodies
can exert a powerful influence over the rest of society through example
and through economic impact.
If government, in its purchasing programs, becomes
energy conscious as well as cost conscious, it
will greatly influence American society.
There are three increasingly severe courses of
action available to government at all levels: example, economic pressure,
Let's look at these one at a time. First, example.
* TURN OFF THE LIGHTS. This may
seem trivial, but government buildings all over the country are brilliantly
lit 24 hours a day, occupied or not.
* Light according to need. Hallways
don't require as much light as work areas. Buildings on the average have
four to five times as much light today as a generation ago.
* Use less air conditioning and
heat. Try spotting plants around offices as air fresheners. Open windows
whenever possible instead of using heaters or coolers.
* Plant ivy and vines on the outsides
of buildings and shade windows whenever possible. The combination of natural
plant insulation and shaded windows can reduce inside temperatures (and
air conditioning needs) significantly.
* Repair instead of replacing. If
energy costs are figured, it may be cheaper to repair a machine or vehicle
than to buy a new one.
* Have employees walk (or ride bicycles)
on short trips.
* Encourage car pools or use of
public transit by as many employees as possible. Explore incentives such
as reduced work days for those riding transit or car pools. Reduce or charge
for employee parking places.
* Set work schedules for shops (and
other high energy use departments) to coincide with off-peak hours of electric
* Explore staggered shifts to help
alleviate both peak loads and rush hour traffic.
* Explore a four day week to help
alleviate peak loads, rush hour traffic and reduce commuting cost by 20%.
Now economic pressure. Government purchasing makes
up the largest single block of purchasing power in the country. Government
could use this power to encourage energy conservation.