Copies of a do-it-yourself guide to conserving energy in older houses--written for the government but shelved because of budget cuts--are now being sold by the principal author.

The booklet describes how older homes waste energy, and shows how to inspect a home to detect energy waste, reduce air leaks and heat loss in attics, walls, floors, windows and doors, and improve the efficiency of heating systems.

The 44-page "Conserving Energy in Older Homes," was written last year for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by Jeffrey Seiser and a 12-person research team at a Silver Spring consulting firm, Applied Management Sciences.

HUD paid the consultants $144,000 for preparing the guide, but budget cutbacks ordered by the Reagan administration in the printing and distribution of consumer publications forced officials at HUD to suspend publication.

Seiser, who is now in business for himself, is selling the book for $4.95 a copy and is also trying to make bulk sales to utility companies for use in energy conservation programs.

The book was commissioned by HUD in 1980 as a companion to its very successful publication, "In the Bank or Up the Chimney," which described basic home improvements that could conserve energy.

Seiser's former employer won the contract to write the book and delivered the product to HUD officials last fall. "Everyone was happy with the product," Seiser said. Then, "the budget for printing and distributing consumer documents was cancelled under the philosophy that the commercial business sector would get this more efficiently to the public. All of a sudden they had no plan to publish the book and there it sat."

Seiser says he had to wait six months before he could get the book back from HUD. He now has his own printer and is distributing an initial press run of 500 copies.

"I guess I'm sort of picking up on what Reagan said to do," Seiser says. "I'm trying to tackle this as a private business venture."

Copies can be ordered from Anayltech, Suite C-30, 915 King St., Alexandria 22314. For individual orders the price is $4.95 per copy plus 65 cents postage, with bulk discounts available.