Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA)

  • Date: March 01, 2011
  • Source: Admin

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) declared it to be U.S. policy to establish a reserve of up to 1 billion barrels of petroleum. It was enacted with the purpose of serving the nation’s energy demands and promoting conservation methods when feasibly obtainable.

The Alternate Fuels Act of 1988 amends a portion of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to pursue the use of alternative fuels. It encourages the development, production, and demonstration of alternative motor fuels and alternative-fuel vehicles.

The Secretary of Energy is directed to ensure an economically practical number of federal fleet to be: (1) alcohol-powered vehicles; (2) dual energy vehicles; (3) natural gas-powered vehicles; 4) natural gas dual-energy vehicles.
Federal policies and programs designed to cut energy demand:

  • Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA)
  • Energy Conservation and Production Act of 1976
    • encourages and facilitates the application of energy conservation and renewable energy measures in new and existing buildings.
  • National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1978 (NECPA)
    • requires utilities to provide residential consumers with energy conservation audits and other services to encourage slower growth of electricity demand.

EPCA Interagency Team (Steering Committee)

Department of the Interior


·         Bureau of Land Management – Restrictions and Impediments

·         Geological Survey – Undiscovered Resources

Department of Agriculture


·         Forest Service – Restrictions and Impediments

Department of Energy

·         Office of Fossil Energy – Technical Assistance

·         Energy Information Administration – Reserves

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (P.L. 94-163, EPCA) authorizes drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve upon a finding by the President that there is a “severe energy supply interruption,” or in the event of a circumstance that “constitutes, or is likely to become, a domestic or international energy supply shortage of significant scope or duration” and where “action taken ... would assist directly and significantly in preventing or reducing the adverse impact of such shortage.”

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (P.L. 94-163) established new car corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, beginning with model year 1978.

Legislations Relating to Federal Standard Setting for Energy Efficiency

Name of Legislation

Year of Passage


Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA)


Calls for establishment of energy conservation program and efficiency targets

National Energy Conservation and Policy Act (NEPCA)


Authorizes DOE to set mandatory standards for thirteen household products

National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA)


Establishes national standards for home appliances, and schedules regular updates through 2012

Energy Policy Act (I) (EPAct92)


Expands standards to include additional commercial and residential appliances

Energy Policy Act (II) (EPAct05)


Updates testing procedures for appliances

Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007)


Expands standards to include additional appliances and updates some existing standards


  • Legal action
  • Civil penalties
  • Fines
  • Suspension, termination of, or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance


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