Total electricity usage in the U.S. dropped by 1.1% in 2015, according to new data from the EIA. The Electric Power Monthly report shows that consumption growth in the commercial sector has been tempered by both the implementation of energy-efficient equipment as well as government regulations for systems such as lighting and HVAC.
Even while the amount of commercial space has increased, electricity usage hasn’t kept pace – growing just an average of 1.1% per year from 2000-2015. While commercial buildings are boosting efficiency, the report’s authors note that more changes are coming thanks to new DOE regulations for appliances such as refrigeration equipment.
Additionally, the study found that industrial electricity sales are on the decline even though electricity-intensive industries have grown at roughly the same pace as the rest of this sector – falling an average of 0.7% per year from 2000-2015. The EIA notes that while industrial energy use is closely tied to economic conditions, efficiency improvements have contributed to the sales decline.