Measures for Slowing Growth in Electricity Consumption

by Ronald D. Doctor


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Where are the possibilities for slowing the growth of electricity demand? This discussion examines the three greatest sources of growth — heating, cooling, and lighting — in terms of four major growth-slowing measures: improved building insulation; substitution of gas for electricity in selected end uses; use of solar energy for heating and cooling; reduced electricity requirements for lighting. These measures would apply to new construction and appliances only. Improved insulation could result in 40-50 percent savings in residential heating-cooling. Increased residential-commercial use of gas could be more than offset by decreased use of gas at the electric utility. Solar energy devices could decrease energy for heating-cooling 70 percent. Selective conversion to fluorescent lighting and basic conservation practices could reduce electricity used for household lighting by 50 percent, and by about one-third in the commercial sector. If, overall, a 3 percent average growth rate can be achieved, many problems could be relieved or postponed to allow time for long-term solutions. (Statement before the Assembly Subcommittee on State Electrical Energy Policy, February 23, 1973.)

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