As mentioned in the History page, Energy Accounting is an economical system developed and proposed by members of the Technocracy movement, that shares almost everything with the concept of a Resource Based Economy, except that it deals with a single resource -- energy. For the sake of easier understanding and easier reference to the source material, the two concepts will be used interchangably. Energy Accounting is simpler and easier to understand, whereas a Resource Based Economy is more complete and resillient.
Unlike the Resource Based Economy idea, which we were sold with so little supporting material that we might question what it even is, Energy Accounting was well researched and scientifically supported when it was first proposed. The basic premise was the following:
- Measure the production capacity of a system and represent it in a unit (Watts of power).
- Distribute Credits representing this production capacity amongst the population of the system.
- Allow said population to determine how the production capacity is to be spent, by choosing items and expending their Credits to acquire them.
Energy Credits would therefore disappear once they were used to purchase something, as the corresponding energy needed to produce the item would have also been spent. This makes Energy Accounting a system of distribution, rather than a system of exchange. It is of course noteworthy that complex products can be produced in an Energy Accounting system by the manufacturer retaining and distributing the Energy Credits needed to produce the parts. It is also not impossible for people to come to agreements in terms of collectivelly investing their Energy Credits into larger and more expensive products.
The plan was every bit as grandiose as it sounds. The North American Technate set out to preform a survey and estimate the total energy production capacity of the entire subcontinent, they were ready to proceed with this plan a subcontinent at a time. However, as we all know, a theory however workable, is usually a long way from a practical application. Converting all of North America to this system proposed by a tiny group of people did not work out as quickly as they might have imagined, as evidenced by the facts of today.
Over the years, as researchers continued work on making this system a reality, a need to follow energy consumption on products trough a production chain became apparent. It was proposed that a system Energy Input Labels be used to indicate energy spent on the manufacturing process of a particular part. Using this approach, Energy Accounting could be superimposed on an existing economical system and more significantly, existing production facilities on a slow progression from a monetary system to a system based on Energy Accounting.
- The European Organization for Sustainability - A new Dawn
- Energy Accounting
- Energy Credits, Labour Credits and Money
- North American Approach
- Energy Input Labeling for Consumer Products