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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electricity Use in California: Past Trends and Present Usage Patterns

  • Author(s): Brown, Richard E.
  • Koomey, Jonathan G.
  • et al.

This paper provides a general overview of electricity consumption and peak load in California, by both sector and end-use. We examine the growth in electricity demand between 1980 and 2000, as well as the composition of electricity end-uses in 1999. One of the main conclusions from this analysis is that electricity use in California in the 1990s did not grow explosively, nor was the amount of growth unanticipated. In both absolute and relative terms, growth in electricity use was greater in the 1980s than the 1990s. During the1990s, most of the growth in electricity use has been in the buildings sector, particularly commercial buildings. In 2000, the building sector accounted for 2/3 of annual electricity consumption and 3/4 of the summer peak load.

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