The Uk Government Position On Energy Efficiency And Conservation The Past Thirty Years

1014 words - 4 pages

IntroductionIf 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 HistoryFor 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 campaignsCampaign 1 - Save EnergyThis 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 MoneyThis campaign was all about promoting economic efficiency and achieving a competitive market. Here free market ideologies were used to promote and stimulate economic growth for the UK and the term energy conservation was replaced by energy efficiency.The consumer was encouraged to use energy efficiency in order to save money, which really translated into 'Save Money not energy" In the end this campaign was undermined by the cheaper energy costs bought about by the collapse of the oil price in the mid 1980's.Campaign 3 - Save the EarthThis campaign is still strongly supported and was started due to environmental concerns first raised by acid rain, then the ozone hole and more recently the effects of global warming. Here the Government target is to seek to reduce the environmental impact of energy production and consumption.The overall the target for these campaigns has been to reduce the rate of growth of national energy use and reduce energy costs which have been in direct conflict with other Government policies that have resulted in an increase in energy consumption due to lower energy costs and the increase in economic growth.Current UK Government Beliefs.As previously mentioned the current Government position is one of environmental issues and mitigating the damage caused by...

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