Even with more buildings, the United States is doing well on energy efficiency, as Greentech Media reports:
New data from the Energy Information Administration reinforces that shift. The agency reported this week that nationwide electricity sales dropped by 1.1 percent in 2015. That marks the fifth time in eight years that U.S. electricity sales have fallen. Meanwhile, yearly construction of new building space is growing by tens of millions of square feet.
“The flattening of total electricity sales reflects declining sales in the industrial sector and little or no growth in sales to the residential and commercial building sectors, despite growth in the number of households and growth in commercial building space,” wrote the agency.
It’s always tough to pinpoint the causes. Certainly the recession made a dent, and so did possibly warmer weather or more growth in warmer climates.
For my part, I would guess that efficiency is now pretty much standard with new building design, and the steep declines in efficient lighting with LEDs are probably having a big impact.
Either way, it’s good news and vital for achieving long-term climate goals.