In this paper the efficiency of energy use from a national perspective is discussed. As a preliminary to discussing the question of energy-efficiency per se, it is helpful to remind the reader of an important economic concept, namely the notion of final consumption. Although ordinary language suggests that consumption is concerned with the usage (and, ultimately, discard) of material goods and energy products this is not the way economists have used the terms, at least, since the concept was fully explicated by Irving Fisher. As Frank Knight has stated: "the basic economic magnitude (value or utility) is service, not goods. It is inherently a stream or flow in time." Thus, although economists themselves have been slow to appreciate its full significance, the fact is that final consumption is nothing more nor less than the sum total of all services derived by consumers from purchased goods or service purchased directly. Although the goods that provide services normally are tangible and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the physical materials from which they are made, the services themselves are essentially nonmaterial in nature.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the ASME Winter Annual Meeting, December 5-10, 1976. Abstracted in the ASME Journal of Mechanical Engineering, v99 n5 (May 1977), p. 88.
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Mechanical Engineers

    Two Park Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10016-5990
  • Authors:
    • Ayres, R U
    • Narkus-Kramer, M
  • Publication Date: 1976

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00153377
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ASME Journal of Mechanical Engineering
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 76-WA/TS-4 Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 17 1977 12:00AM