James Spear Taylor, 82, a consultant on the economics of energy who also served as an adviser to Presidents Hoover and Eisenhower, died of cardiac arrest Monday at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Taylor came to the Washington area in the 1920s to work for Herbert Hoover when the latter was secretary of Commerce. He was head of building and housing for the department during this period and also wrote a best-selling government handbook, "How to Own Your Own Home," which reportedly sold more than 600,000 copies.

When Hoover became president, Mr. Taylor served him as a special assistant and speech writer.

He subsequently worked as a planner for the War Production Board and was director of retraining and reemployment for the Veterans Administration following World War II.

In 1953, Mr. Taylor served under President Hoover as a member of the second Hoover commission on the reorganization of the executive branch, established in 1953. He later became an adviser to President Eisenhower on the federal highway program.

In addition to his government work, Mr. Taylor was an independent consultant on oil, gas, coal and nuclear economics for the governments of Canada, Pakistan and France and worked on feasibility studies and other pojects in South Korea, Morocco, and Liberia.

Mr. Taylor was born in Rochester, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree from Havard University in 1918.

Mr. Taylor lived in Washington. He was a member of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, a civic group. He also was a member of the Chevy Chase Club, the Cosmos Club and the Harvard Club of New York City.

Survivors include his wife, Helen, of the home in Washington; a son, Nicholas C., of Midland, Tex.; a daughter, Alexandra Coburn, of Wellesley, Mass, and four grandchildren.