Skip to comments.What Is Power Consumption Telling Us About The US Economy?
Posted on 07/13/2014 5:55:12 PM PDT by Citizen Zed
US power consumption peaked in 2006, approximately in line with the peak in the US housing market, and the trend line has flatlined since.
Consumption peaks normally come in late July/early August, so it is still a bit early to gauge how 2014 is shaping up. However, in the grand scheme of things and despite the limitations of this indicator, historical kilowatt consumption suggests that the US economy at best continues to muddle along, despite an unprecedented amount of policy stimulus some of which may even be curtailed before the end of the year.
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We’re getting much more efficient. /s
Indeed we are getting more efficient. As we replace light bulbs, appliances, computers, etc. our energy efficiency is improving at a rate of about 2% per year. As long as GDP grows by less than that, our electrical consumption will continue to drift downward.
“Indeed we are getting more efficient.”
Loss of manufacturing facilities to other countries helps. No need for power to run heavy machinery.
Yep, mixed message here. Good that we're getting more efficient with our energy usage (saves us money, makes our energy reserves last longer), but not good that our crappy Obamao economy is not growing to increase demand.
[Jeopardy contestant]: What is a squeeze of the sheeple by the financial elites ?
Now that you mention it the emergence of CFL's and LED lights should be questioned with respect to the declining use of electricity.
I don’t know about anyone else but my power consumption has declined because the cost is too darn high.
I sit around in a coat...in the house all winter. Propane and the electricity to dispense it are outrageous.
I did have to turn on the a/c today. First time this year. But heck...it was 101 degrees. My fans couldn’t keep up.
I’m amazed that the winter peaks in 09 amd 10 were higher than last winter.
All I can think of to explain that is that people still had some savings to spend...
At some point the electrical plug in cars will negate those savings.
Power and gasoline consumption are both probably affected by the efforts of many people in tough financial situations to simply cut their usage to save money. And there would be several other reasons, most related to high unemployment, a stagnant economy and rising electricity and fuel costs.
“We’re getting much more efficient. /s”
I don’t know if your “/s” was a sarcasm tag or not, but I believe that many of us are getting much more efficient. I know that over the past several years (as the cost of LED lights have come down) we’ve been converting our house lighting to LEDs. The lighting is better than incandescent bulbs, they generate minimal “waste” heat and they last decades. Also, as the “gas and electric” companies expand the reach of their natural gas service, folks are shifting from electrical/heat pump heating to natural gas. We did that when our heat pump died about 4 years ago. We love it compared to the heat pump.
The economy certainly has some impact however -— as money has become harder to get, I’ve become a super hawk at making sure every light is turned off if not needed.
By the way, CFL bulbs are not worth it. They are expensive and, in our experience, last only about 5% as long as they claim and they still generate waste heat. We’ll never put another one of those in our house.
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