Evaluation of Four Energy Conservation Programs:

Fiscal Year 1977

EMD-78-81: Published: Nov 21, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 1978.

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Title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act authorized four programs to encourage and facilitate the implementation of energy conservation measures and renewable-resource energy measures in dwelling units, nonresidential buildings, and industrial plants. The authorized programs are: (1) supplemental state energy conservation plans; (2) weatherization assistance for low-income persons; (3) energy conservation and renewable-resource obligation guarantees; and (4) national energy conservation and renewable-resource demonstration for existing dwelling units.

The renewable-resource obligation guarantees program is a discretionary program designed to guarantee the outstanding principal amount of an obligation whose purpose is to finance the installation or implementation of an energy conservation or renewable-resource energy measure in any existing building or plant. The program has not been implemented. As of September 30, 1977, 55 jurisdictions were participating in state base programs, and 22 were participating in the supplemental programs for energy conservation. At the end of fiscal year 1977, federal program expenditures were $6.8 million for the base and $3.7 million for the supplemental programs. Administration and operation of the state programs need to be improved in the areas of assessing program impact, accounting of funds, monitoring compliance, and providing technical assistance. Two federal low-income weatherization programs have nearly identical purposes, methods of funding, and weatherizing measures. Both lack centralized control and authority.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of Energy should test the guarantees program and proceed with a demonstration program sufficient to evaluate alternative financial incentives. With regard to the state energy conservation program, the Secretary of Energy should: (1) require states to report on an annual basis the actual energy savings achieved; (2) review and certify the states' accounting systems; (3) review with states the federal requirements concerning the use of federal funds; (4) require all states to use the monitoring system developed by the Department of Energy; and (5) make sure that energy progress is reported consistently. Congress should transfer the responsibility for administering the Community Services' Administration weatherization program to the Energy Department in order to centralize control and authority. The Secretary of Energy and Director of the Community Services Administration should each establish an interim limit of $400 of federal funds to be used for weatherization materials per dwelling unit.


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