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  • The Department of Energy Cannot Afford to Save Energy

    Some households just can’t afford to save energy. When the upfront costs of new light bulbs exceed the savings from using less electricity, people will stick with the old ones.

    That also appears to be the case for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In spite of supporting regulations that will force all Americans to switch out old light bulbs for more expensive new ones (the good old incandescent bulb will be illegal in 2012), it seems that the DOE itself finds that it’s too much trouble and too expensive to adopt the latest energy-saving technologies.

    An audit of 96 buildings by the department’s inspector general reveals, “For the most part, sites either did not use, or made limited use of, innovative lighting technologies developed in the Department’s research laboratories.” The DOE is not even availing itself of the technologies that, as part of its mission, it helped create. The primary impediment cited was a “lack of resources.” In other words, the energy savings were too expensive.

    The DOE is cheerleader for parsimony in energy consumption for everybody else. Yet it still hasn’t outfitted a majority of its own buildings with occupancy sensors and the latest lighting technology. Maybe American households should also be allowed to choose which “money-saving” technologies they want to adopt and when they want to adopt them.

    Cameron Parker is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to The Department of Energy Cannot Afford to Save Energy

    1. Richard, New Orleans says:

      That sounds like what my father called "Do as I say, not as I do", or just good old hypocrisy.

    2. Abbie Bunn, Georgia says:

      Great article! Nice to know someone is making this information available. An d nice to know the someone that wrote it!

    3. Robert & Shannon says:

      One of the best articles on energy we have seen. It contained information we did not see anywhere else .I hope this young writer keeps up the good work.

    4. Spearshaker, Glendal says:

      Try using a "curly-Q" bulb in your garage door opener. I did and it causes the the electric eye that re-lights the light when the beam is crossed to fail. I wonder if maybe the safety portion of the gadget is also affected? Anyone?

      btw– take care in handling the curly-Q's (small amounts of mercury in 'em!) ( probably designed for future class action law suits) Oh! and some spot light holders are too deep for the curly-Q's necessitating the additional expense of an adaptor.

      I found that out the hard way too. Come 2012 I guess there'll be a lot of "incandescent criminals" out there!

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    7. George Colgrove says:

      This is another federal agency that can be eliminated. States have energy departments – that are also unnecessary, but they do have them. Most utilities can take care of these kinds of things, and there are national private organizations or associations that are already in place that can promote the things this federal agency is promoting. This highly redundant agency offers no more than what can be found elsewhere. As for the more legitimate parts, put them under homeland security for the time being until those can be funneled back out to the states. All military related functions of the Dept of Energy should go back to the defense department.

      The solution to federal failure is to eliminate those failures. Every redundant department that is eliminated saves the taxpayer considerably. We have come to the time to recognize (where the rest of the developed world is now), that a strong centralized government fosters failure. When society's ills are being solved by reduction of a single overbearing entity, whether you are in New Jersey or Europe, one can only image what we in America can do with a federal government that has no domestic involvement at all.

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