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Interfuel substitution model for institutions of higher education: implications for conservation

Description: A model of interfuel substitution is described for colleges and universities in the United States and its implications for conserving fossil fuel resources. There is a significant and growing interest among institutions of higher education in utilizing more efficiently their purchased as well as generated energy sources. An analysis of energy consumption patterns of colleges and universities shows a significant difference in how energy sources are being utilized. Smaller colleges and universities convert purchased fuels directly into end use services such as space heating, water heating, and lighting. The purchased fuels may include electricity and fossil fuels. A more varied fuel use situation exists for larger institutions where not only the above fuel consumption mixture exists, but a central generating plant operated by the university may exist which uses purchased fossil fuels in a primary energy use sense to generate electricity, steam, and chilled water for their own end use requirements. Results indicate that relative changes in fuel prices across a broad cross-section of colleges and universities have significant effects on primary and end-use consumption of fuels. Increasing prices of distillate and residual fuels have a greater energy conservation potential than do equal price increases for coal and natural gas. Electricity is found not to have significant substitution possibilities with the fossil fuels. The results have important overtones for public policy. The structure of the market system may be well suited to handle dislocations in energy price and supplies for colleges and universities; and future decisions by public policy makers may reflect this situation.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Cohn, S.M.; O'Neal, D.L. & Perry, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department