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Title: Energy use from 1973 to 1980: the role of improved energy efficiency

Between 1973 and 1980 US energy use grew at an average annual rate that was only one-tenth the pre-embargo growth rate. This sudden and dramatic change in energy growth was caused by a combination of rapidly rising fuel prices, slower economic growth, occasional shortages of fuels, and government and utility conservation programs. This report examines the post-embargo period in terms of energy use in each of the major sectors: residential and commercial buildings, transportation, and industry. The analysis deals with two issues: what changes occurred in energy use during this period relative to pre-embargo trends, and why these changes occurred. Energy use in 1980 (76 Quads) was substantially lower than pre-embargo trends would suggest (by roughly 20 Quads). About half of this 20 Quad reduction was due to slower growth in economic activity. The remainder was due to improvements in energy efficiency, spurred primarily by rising fuel prices and also by government and utility conservation programs. The 1980 increase in overall energy efficiency (ten Quads) was due primarily to technical efficiency improvements (60%) and secondarily to operational changes (40%).
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
ON: DE82010331
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; AIRCRAFT; FUEL CONSUMPTION; AUTOMOBILES; COMMERCIAL SECTOR; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; GASOLINE; CONSUMPTION RATES; INDUSTRY; RESIDENTIAL SECTOR; USA; DATA COMPILATION; ECONOMIC GROWTH; ENERGY CONSERVATION; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; FUELS; GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT; OPERATION; PRICES; TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS; DATA; EFFICIENCY; INFORMATION; LIQUID FUELS; NORTH AMERICA; NUMERICAL DATA; PETROLEUM PRODUCTS; VEHICLES 320101* -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Residential Buildings-- (-1987); 320104 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Commercial & Industrial Buildings-- (-1987); 320201 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Transportation-- Air & Aerospace; 320203 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Transportation-- Land & Roadway; 320301 -- Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization-- Industrial & Agricultural Processes-- Energy Sources; 298000 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Consumption & Utilization