The UK Government Position on Energy Efficiency and Conservation the Past Thirty Years

Essay by lewiscolinUniversity, Bachelor's April 2004

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If one looks at the UK Governments campaigns on energy efficiency and consumption over the past thirty years it could be argued that that these campaigns have been initiated due to 'knee jerk' reactions from political events of the day. There had been no pre-planning or thought given to 'what if' scenarios regarding energy efficiency or consumption.

It could also be argued that this is not the case with the current UK Government's stand on using energy efficiency to reduce national energy consumption with a long term goal to reducing carbon emissions.

Campaign History

For the past three decades the UK Government position on energy efficiency has changed reflecting the immediate political concerns of the day. The various Government positions can be separated into three campaigns

Campaign 1 - Save Energy

This campaign was bought about due to the oil embargo by OPEC and the coal miner strikes in the 1970's.

The idea of this campaign was to make consumers aware of the implications of what energy shortages would bring about for example petrol rationing, power cuts etc. The consumer was requested to "Save it" and there by reduce the demand and subsequently help with security of supply issues and the depletion of current energy supplies (there was a concern that the world may actually run out of fossil fuels in the near future).

Initially the public responded well but the campaign faltered when the OPEC issues and miners dispute were settled, coupled with increased fossil fuel production and new enhanced oil and gas recovery techniques. Basically once the threat of energy shortages and their implications had disappeared so did the "Save it" campaign.

Campaign 2 - Save Money

This campaign was all about promoting economic efficiency and achieving a competitive market. Here free market ideologies were...