U.S. retail electricity sales declined 2% or by 80 billion kilowatt-hours in 2017, from 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The decrease was the largest drop since the Great Recession in 2009 and was largely attributed to the mild weather.
In 2017, total electricity sales in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors were 3.682 trillion kilowatt-hours, nearly the same level almost a decade ago in 2006. The residential sector accounted for more than 37% of the sales, the commercial sector less than 37% and the industrial sector about 26%.
Weather played the biggest part in the sales decline from 2016. The amount of energy-related demand as a result of cooling and air conditioning fell 9% in 2017, from 2016, which indicated summer 2017 was cooler than the previous summer and required less demand for air conditioning, according to the EIA.
Cold weather also impacts electricity use. The amount of energy demand related to heating fell 1% in 2017, from 2016. In the South, homes and businesses are more likely to heat with electricity, and energy demand related to heating declined 8% to 10%, from 2016.