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California’s Economic Growth Outpaces Energy Consumption



California continues to prove it is possible to have a thriving economy with only a small increase in energy consumption.

From 2016 to 2017, job growth in California increased almost 2 percent, while electricity consumption was up a little more than 1 percent. Between 2000 and 2017, the state’s gross product grew nearly four times as fast as electricity consumption, according to the California Energy Commission’s latest tracking report on electricity demand.

The tracking progress report discusses forecasts of electricity consumption and peak electricity demand for California from 2018 to 2030. The Energy Commission provides 10-year forecasts for electricity demand in California as part of the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) process. The IEPR is a key report that assesses and updates major energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors.

Various resource planners like the California Public Utility Commission and the California Independent System Operator use the forecasts to balance future electricity demand with supply.

The California Energy Demand Forecast for 2018-2030 presents baseline forecasts of natural gas and electricity consumption and of peak demand for California and utility planning areas. The demand forecast includes estimates of additional achievable energy efficiency savings and photovoltaic adoption and provides options for managed electricity forecasts for resource planning.

Electricity consumption will rise above the California Energy Demand Updated Forecast 2017-2027 because of more electric vehicles, increased manufacturing electricity consumption, decreased savings from efficiency programs, and changes in how residential lighting savings are accounted for, according to the tracking progress report.

Projected personal income slightly decreased, commercial employment remains the same, manufacturing output increases and population growth has an almost identical growth when comparing the forecast for 2017-2027 and the demand forecast for 2018-2030.

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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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