- Electric sales have dropped in the U.S. in four of the last five years and are expected to fall this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
- Over the last five years, industrial sales have dropped while commercial and residential sales have flatlined, even though there is a growing number of homes and commercial buildings.
- Increasing amounts of distributed generation, mainly solar, is a factor in lower sales but it is hard to measure.
A decade ago utilities could count on sales growth in the 2% to 4% range. Not any more. EIA expects overall sales to grow by about 0.9% a year through 2040, according to a report issued last week. Lower sales means fewer power plants will need to be built, but there will be pressure on electric rates, which will make efficiency and rooftop solar even more appealing.