We’ve been hearing a lot about a drop in energy consumption as a result of the economic downturn. In fact, U.S. energy use per person declined last year to its lowest level since 1968.
Economic activity and energy use are directly linked. But lately, several reports have noted that the economic slowdown is not the only reason energy consumption is falling. Aggressive energy efficiency efforts also have impact.
That impact will be “major” in the years to come, according to the Energy Information Administration, the chief energy data collector for the U.S. government. The agency this week released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2010” with projections to 2035.
The federal report shows us decreasing energy use significantly if we employ best available efficiency technologies over the next 25 years – that is if we buy the most energy efficient appliances and build homes to the highest efficiency standards. Under this scenario, energy consumption could drop by as much as 27 percent. But if we stick to the status quo, homeowners will increase energy use by about 0.2 percent.