Seattle conservation plan on steroids…

…but there’s no room for solar.

“We are putting our conservation program on steroids,” said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels when he unleashed a five-year plan to reduce the amount of energy used in Seattle by an amount equal to the current consumption of roughly 180,000 homes.

Seattle citizens have been notoriously open to conservation measures and have cut their per household energy production by roughly 30 percent in the last 30 years. This plan is one of the most ambitious programs to date and some critics are concerned that there may not be enough “sexy” in the effort to make it work.

One very “sexy” aspect of conservation missing from the plan is further incentives for solar power installation by homes and businesses. The omission of solar is even more glaring when you consider that one of the focus points of the plans is to reduce the amount of energy used for hot water.

The program includes incentives for more efficient electronics and appliances as well as plans to encourage the use of energy efficient light bulbs. All powerful measures for everyone to make a difference and good choices of areas of emphasis.

At the end of the day, the highly-touted plan puts conservation directly on the shoulders of the individual and seeming puts very little focus on encouraging efforts from the business community to add to their conservation measures. Looking at the fact that reports indicate that Seattle based businesses use 30 percent more than the national average of energy, it’s disappointing that more wasn’t done to encourage them to invest in the most visible method of conservation, solar energy production.