Probably due to the adaption of LED lighting, electricity use in the U.S. is declining, separate from the bigger economic picture. The question is whether it will last, and this article from UCal-Berkeley says it’s too early to tell, if for no other reason than cheaper lighting may lead to a “rebound effect” in which we use more of it.
I found one of the charts in the article, reproduced above, fascinating. It compared electricity use per capita in 2010 vs. 2015 for all 50 states and D.C. Usage went up only in Maine, Rhode Island and D.C. – but to me the interesting thing is how much more electricity is used per-capita in the Southeast than in Northeast. (I don’t see N.H. on the chart). It can’t just be a function of heat leading to more air conditioning, because Hawaii is *way* down near the bottom – I suspect this is a reflection of energy efficiency prodded by state policies.
I think electricity rates may be a big driver in that chart.
According to Google, Hawaiians pay the highest electricity rates in the country at upwards of 33 cents per kWh. Most of their generation comes from oil. Also, apparently 17% of homes in Hawaii have rooftop solar and that behind the meter generation probably isn’t considered in the chart, which would make their consumption appear much lower than it actually is.
OTOH, the southern states with high per capita consumption have some of the lowest electricity rates in the country. Apparently, Louisiana has the second lowest electricity rates in the country.
Thinking about it some more, I suspect you’re right.
As the journalism mantra goes, “follow the money”.