Time for Energy Efficiency to Take Center Stage
By Steve Kiesner Director of National Accounts, Edison Electric Institute | October 2008
The country's steadily growing demand for energy will continue to present challenges for legislators, both at the federal and state levels. Two energy-related issues in particular-rising prices and global climate change-will demand innovative and bipartisan solutions.
The nation's electric utilities believe that a key component of these solutions will be an expanded commitment to energy efficiency. We are working with the new Congress and with state legislators and regulators to broaden the role that energy efficiency plays in addressing these issues. We are encouraging the hotel industry, and all sectors of the economy, to join in this effort.
Electricity Demand Growing
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting that the country's total energy consumption will increase at an average rate of 1.1 percent per year through 2030. Demand for electricity is expected to grow at a slightly faster rate, expanding at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent per year.
This growth in electricity use will build upon already high demand levels. Electricity demand in 2006 was the second highest ever. It fell just shy of the record set in 2005. The country actually did set an all-time weekly electric demand record last summer, only to be eclipsed two weeks later. Looking ahead, we expect that more records for electricity use will be set.
The population of the U.S. is anticipated to grow 23 percent between now and 2030. The nation's GDP is projected to double in that time. Both events lead the federal government to predict that electricity use will grow by 40 percent over the same period.