Energy Policy

Role of Enforcement Mechanisms


We looked at several different types of policy earlier in this lesson. Enacting policy is only part of the puzzle to achieving a desired outcome. Enforcement mechanisms ensure that the policy is implemented and provide consequences for non-compliance. Let's take a look at the different types of enforcement mechanisms out there. The type of policy employed dictates the type of enforcement mechanism(s) necessary to keep the policy goals on track.

Generally, for the policy options we explored that are voluntary in nature (such as tax incentives, grant opportunities, and guidelines), there is no real need for any sort of enforcement mechanisms. But, for those policy options that have some sort of mandatory component (taxes, market based approaches, and standards), there needs to be a system in place to ensure that the policy is actually enforced.

Generally, the energy policy document itself will detail who is in charge of ensuring compliance with the policy. The policy may even create a new office or establishment for managing the oversight of the policy (for example - 1974's Energy Reorganization Act established the Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

Keep enforcement mechanisms in mind as you research your Research Project policy. Which group or groups work together (or against one another) to achieve its stated goals? Ensure successful monitoring and implementation?