Biggest Sources of Electricity Demand

Virginia’s overall per capita electricity demand is 27th highest among states, according to U.S. government statistics. This includes power consumption in homes and businesses.

Electricity use in Virginia is roughly 30 percent from transportation, 27 percent from homes, 25 percent from offices and businesses, and 18 percent from industrial facilities.

Electricity use has grown by approximately 3 percent per year over the last 10 years, with about two-thirds of the growth attributable to new customers and one-third to growth in use per customer. Existing forecasts estimate an annual growth rate of about 1.5 percent per year, which means Virginia would need to grow its energy supply by 14.6 percent to meet increasing demand through 2020.

Where We Use the Most Energy

  • Heating and cooling, typically the largest energy users in homes and businesses
  • Appliances, especially refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers, which together account for about 20% of all energy used in homes
  • Water heating, on average nine percent of all energy used in the home
  • Lighting, the largest energy user in the commercial sector and nine percent of power used in homes
  • Electronics, an area where demand is increasing because of computers, larger and more sophisticated televisions, digital media and appliances

Biggest Sources of Electricity Demand (02 AC units)Residential. Residential electricity consumption in Virginia is growing faster than the population, and it is 14th highest in the country. Home energy demand increased 18% from 1995 to 2005 and a full 50 percent from 1985 to 2005 due to population growth.

Business. Federal statistics show that Virginia’s commercial sector — including small businesses, retail, offices and warehouses — are reducing their energy use over time.

Industrial/Government. Virginia’s utilities serve several large industrial customers, major military bases, one of the largest ports in the United States, and a large share of the computer infrastructure supporting the Internet and centralized computing.

* Data on this page comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, the Virginia Energy Plan issued July 1, 2010, and utility integrated resource plans filed with the State Corporation Commission.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy

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