U.S. Electricity Generation Hits Record High in 2018 Due To Extreme Weather Temperatures
U.S. electricity generation hits a record high in 2018 due to the crazy weather we experienced this past year. Those long, hot and humid summer days, ending the year off with some bitter cold nights that stretched out for days has made the AC units and heating systems work overtime.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2018’s U.S. electricity generation hit a record high, with 4,178 million megawatthours (MWh). We haven’t seen a number like this hit since 2007, which was 4,157 million MWh.
The extreme highs and lows of weather across the U.S. are to blame for the U.S. electricity generation hitting a record high. 87% of U.S. households use air conditioning, and about 35% of U.S. households use electricity as their main source for heating their homes.
The retail sale of electricity from households (residential) contributed to a 6% increase from 2017. Similarly, commercial properties saw a 2% increase from the previous year.
Because of improving energy efficiency standards and other improvements of technology, the EIA predicts a slower pace of growth from electricity consumption in the future, despite the spike seen in 2018. Specifically, the EIA predicts only a 0.4% growth rate of electricity consumption for residential, and 0.5% for commercial settings.
Ways You Can Save Energy Consumption In Your Home
Because of the recent news article we stumbled upon about 2018’s electricity generation hitting a record high, we wanted to add some in-home energy saving tips that can make your electricity bill a little more affordable each month.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs.
- Turn off lights when they are not in-use in a room.
- Use dimmer switches for indoor lights.
- Use a timer for outdoor lights, or have a licensed electrician install a motion sensor light.
- Turn off and unplug electronics when not in use.
- Replace all major appliances with ENERGY STAR rated appliances.
- Have a licensed electrician install ceiling fans for the summer – this can make you feel cooler so you will use less of your air conditioning!
- Use a power strip for electronics and turn the power strip off when the electronics are not in use.
- Unplug battery chargers.
- Install a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat for your AC and heating system.
- Wash your clothing in cold water, not warm/hot water.
- Seal any cracks, gaps, or leaks around the home…this can save on heating and cooling costs.
- Adding insulation can save on heating and cooling costs as well.
- During those hot hot days, use blinds and shades to trap out the sunlight, and for colder says, open the shades up and get some sunlight in!
- Open your dishwasher when it’s done and let everything air dry instead of using the heated dry setting.
- Don’t keep opening the oven to check on your food. This can drop the temperature by 25 degrees every time, making the oven work harder to get up to the pre-set temperature.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full…this actually makes them operate more efficiently.
- Look for holes, cracks, or tears in your ducts and seal them properly. According to Energystar.gov, “about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts.” Insulate any ducts that are accessible and visible as well.