Housing, health care, industry and transportation all have one thing in common: they are sectors of the economy sensitive to energy prices.

But unlike all of those other areas of interest, energy planning is not under the guidance of a department of state government.

That seems like a mistake, considering it represented $7.6 billion in 2015, and impacted virtually every other form of economic activity.

There is a bill before the Legislature that would create a new state Department of Energy, complete with a commissioner and staff, that would be funded with energy efficiency funds, adding resources and capacity to the work that’s now done by two members of the governor’s staff.

But while it makes sense to give such an important subject more attention, it points to a larger problem in the state – lack of long-term planning in general.

In 2012, Gov. Paul LePage phased out the State Planning Office, which used to provide independent economic analysis to the Legislature and governor. Until the governor’s energy office was created under the Baldacci administration, the State Planning office also looked at energy issues.

State government is missing that kind of comprehensive view. Interrelated issues involving electrical prices, new home construction and roads and bridges are being considered in multiple departments at the same time. What’s missing is study of the entire state’s needs and opportunities. It’s well known that Maine’s high cost of energy is a drag on our economy, but the growth of the state’s renewable power sector is also a valuable export. These are issues that should not be studied with only a single lens.

The proposal to fund a new energy agency with money from the Efficiency Maine Trust is another problem. That is money taken from electric rate payers to support energy efficiency projects, reducing electric bills. None of that money should go anywhere else than to rate payers to reduce their demand for power.

Adding to electric rates to study why rates are so high doesn’t make sense, and neither does creating a new agency with such a limited focus that would not address the underlying problem of a lack of planning and long-term vision.

It would be better for Maine to bring back the State Planning Office with more resources for energy study than it would be to add a new state agency that would look at only one piece of the puzzle.