SECO administers and delivers a variety of energy efficiency and renewable programs which significantly impact energy cost and consumption in the institutional, industrial, transportation and residential sectors. Our site is designed to easily provide information to the public and the legislature about our programs and how they may be implemented throughout the state.
Created in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the resulting national energy crisis, the Texas “energy office” has evolved from its original function of responding to state fuel shortage emergencies and administering federal energy conservation grants to its current role as a statewide promoter of energy efficiency and provider of energy management services which have a positive impact on state energy expenditures and local property tax rates.
Beneficiaries of SECO’s services include state agencies, public schools, city and county governments, institutions of higher education, private industries, and residential energy consumers.
Originally known as the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council (1975), the State Energy Conservation Office has been housed in a number of state agencies and undergone several name changes. In 1999, the 76th Texas Legislature transferred the energy office to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The primary funding source for SECO programs has been oil overcharge settlement dollars resulting from federal court settlements of alleged violations of price controls in effect for crude oil and refined petroleum products between 1973 and 1981. While the U.S. Department of Energy is the federal agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the court settlements, the state’s responsibility is to return these funds to the citizens of Texas through promoting and supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy programs according to state and federal guidelines.
SECO’s task is to enable Texans to enjoy the optimal benefit from the domestic energy we produce, to contribute to our state’s growing economy through reducing a major operational cost of state government, school districts, municipal governments, hospitals, and small businesses, to promote those technologies and procedures which result in cost effective operation, and to show individual Texas residents how an energy efficient ethic can enhance their quality of life and that of future Texans.