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Electric Demand to Slacken

Energy use poised to plummet

Electricity use by residential customers will decline 11.3 percent from 2015 to 2040, according to new federal figures.

Federal efficiency standards for lights, cooling and heating and water heating, along with tighter building codes account for the drop, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

For commercial energy users, electric sales per square foot of floor space will decline .3 percent per year from 2015 to 2040, the report said.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

For industrial consumers, electricity sales per dollar of industrial shipment will fall .8 percent annual over the same 25-year period. In part, that reflects a general, ongoing decline in electricity-intensive industries, EIA said.

Thomas Fanning, the president and chief executive of Southern Company, at a recent gathering of utility leaders in Chicago referred to such over-arching changes as “creative disruption.”

The falloff in electricity demand occurs at a time of sustained high levels of spending in the industry.

Christopher Crane, Exelon president and chief executive, recently said his company will invest $25 billion upgrading its grid properties in the coming five years.  The business model  that powered utilities for a century must change, he and other industry leaders say.

“Volumetric pricing has become more problematic as load growth has stopped,” Crane said.


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