||Myth: California’s energy growth is
What the data show: California’s energy growth is moderate
Myth: California’s energy growth outstrips that of the United States
What the data show: California’s growth tracks or is below U.S. growth
The recent public discussion about energy shortages in California has been riddled with misinformation about energy use and trends in the state and the nation.
One often-repeated myth is that the state of California has experienced an extraordinary rise in electricity demand. The following graph, using statistics collected by the California Energy Commission, shows that this just isn’t so.
Graphs by Francis Rubinstein, Environmental Energy Technologies Division
The graphic below, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration and the California Energy Commission, shows that between
1995 and 2000, California increased its electricity consumption at 2.5
percent per year, while the United States as a whole increased its
consumption at 2.1 percent per year. The difference between the two is not
The next graphic below compares the growth in California and U.S. electricity consumption on a per capita basis (the top two lines), and a growth per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP).