For all the D.C. hand wringing about how the country wastes energy, the U.S. is actually becoming much more energy efficient, so much so that the amount of energy it takes to produce just a buck’s worth of economic output has dropped dramatically since the time when Richard Nixon was in the White House and Welcome Back Kotter was on TV.
Moreover, that figure is projected to keep falling for the next 30 years as the U.S. becomes more energy efficient, the Energy Information Administration says. Here’s why: • Homes are becoming more efficient, with energy intensity dropping about 27% from 2005 to 2040, the EIA says. • Business energy intensity, “measured as delivered energy used per square foot of commercial floorspace, dropped about 17% from 2005 to 2040,” it says; • Factory and plant energy intensity, measured as delivered energy per dollar of industrial sector shipments, rose above its 2005 level initially due “to the 2007-09 recession but ultimately decreases 25% below its 2005 level in 2040,” the EIA says; • Light vehicle energy usage “is projected to decline by more than 47% from the 2005 value,” it says.
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