Energy efficiency presents challenges to nation’s utilities

For decades, economic expansion in America always led to an increase in electricity sales. In fact, during the 1950s and 1960s, energy demands actually grew faster than the nation's gross domestic product. But over the last few years, another trend has developed. While the economy continues its rebound, the electric retail industry saw its peak in 2008, around the time of the Great Recession's genesis, at an annual sales mark of 3.77 trillion kilowatt-hours. That figure then dropped continually until a slight rebound in 2011 and then continued to descend with the latest 2013 statistics totaling at 3.69 trillion kilowatt-hours, a two percent dip from 2008. 

But The Wall Street Journal recently suggested that the electric retail industry may be enduring demand destruction, the substantial near-permanent reduction of the need for a resource, as more people turn to solar energy and other green alternatives. 

Energy efficiency initiatives have been diluting the effects of population and economic growth because of energy usage upgrades. In 2005, the average refrigerator used 840 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, compared to only 453 kilowatt-hours in 2010. An LED bulb can consume between 70 and 80 percent less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent light bulb. That disparity has even begun to attract large companies and organizations like Macy's Corp. In 2010, the retailer began replacing their traditional light bulbs with LEDs in more than 800 of their stores, slashing its energy usage by up to 73 percent. 

As the prospect of cheaper utility bills through alternative means becomes more broadly known, home energy efficiency continues to grow into more of a priority for many homeowners. If you live in the Maryland area and are looking to have an energy audit evaluate your own power consumption needs, simply schedule an appointment with leading home inspection company Alban Inspections!