Rooftop Solar and Energy Efficiency Expected to Slow Growth in Future Electricity Demand

Self-generation of electricity from rooftop solar and increased energy efficiency in homes and appliances are expected to steady electricity demand growth over the next decade. That’s the finding of the California Energy Commission’s California Energy Demand 2016-2026, Revised Electricity Forecast.

Resource planners use the forecast to make certain that future demand for electricity will be met by supply. The California Energy Demand Forecast is published every other year with an update of the forecast on the off year. It describes likely scenarios for electricity consumption, retail sales, and peak demand for the five major electricity planning areas in California and for the state.

The 136-page report includes estimates of three demand cases, low, mid and high. The mid demand forecast expects a less than 1 percent annual growth rate in electricity demand from 2016 through 2026.

Two significant reasons for this growth rate are the increasing presence of solar panels on California homes, and expected energy savings from future state building codes and appliance standards.

“California continues to set the trend by incorporating renewable energy and energy efficiency in our daily lives,” said Chris Kavalec, project manager of the forecast. “Without such effort, demand would climb dramatically. Instead, we see annual demand growing from a low of about 0.5 percent to a high of 1.25 percent.”

Find the forecast on the Energy Commission website.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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