A month after he said “conservation does not mean doing without,” U.S. President Bush said he would cut electricity use at the White House, ordering employees to turn off lights when leaving their offices and switch off computers when they would be gone for two days or more. With these and other steps, the complex of White House buildings is expected to cut energy use by 10 to 12 percent. The president also proposed to restore $300 million in funding for Clinton-era research programs on energy conservation — money that he struck from the budget earlier this year. Speaking to Energy Department employees yesterday, Bush jokingly urged them to stop their applause, “Okay — conserve your energy.” In turn, Democrats, and even the national press, have had a hard time not poking fun at Bush for his seeming about-face on the issue of conservation.