2020 CEQ Annual Report

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Personal Impact*

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Electricity at Home and Work

Quick Summary - x x dashClimate Change Indicator



The average Connecticut resident's electric consumption increased in 2020 to 3,639 Kilowatt-hours (kWh) per person.

In 2020, Connecticut’s residential sector consumed approximately 12,973 million kWh,62  an increase from 2019 and higher than the prior ten-year average. The use of fossil fuels for electric generation increases air pollution, especially from marginal units used to meet peak demand. Increasing the efficiency of generating units, using renewable sources, reducing electricity use and peak demand, and carbon capture and sequestration are all viable strategies to reduce air pollution from the electricity sector. While the per capita consumption of electricity increased for the residential sector in Connecticut in 2020, electricity consumption in the commercial, industrial and transportation sectors all decreased from 2019 levels. The increase in 2020 came in a year with 30 days with temperatures greater than 90°F, compared to 21 days with temperatures greater than 90°F in 2019. Typically, the hotter the summer, the more electricity residents use to cool their homes and the more greenhouse gas emissions are released to the environment. In addition, more people were learning and working from home for some time in 2020 than in previous years, in response to the COVID 19 virus.

Quick Summary - Check Check DashConnecticut's commercial and industrial sectors are using electricity more efficiently in 2020

In 2020, Connecticut’s commercial and industrial sector consumed approximately 13,915 million kWh.63  Connecticut’s 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the total value of goods and services produced within the state in a single year, has been calculated by the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis at almost $241,093 million** Connecticut’s economy was significantly impacted by the response to the COVID 19 virus.

Quick Summary - x x dashEstimated annual energy savings from energy conservation programs has been declining since 2016.

As mentioned above, reducing electricity use is an effective strategy for reducing air emissions from electric generation. Connecticut has energy-efficiency programs that have helped small and large businesses, homeowners and renters, and state and local governments manage their energy use. The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) has funded programs that provide financial incentives to reduce energy use.64  These programs and services, administered and delivered by Connecticut’s electric and gas utilities, are funded from the CEEF through a “Public Benefits Charge” on electric bills and through a conservation charge included in natural gas rates. As expected, there is a correlation between electricity conserved, or electricity that need not be generated to meet demand, and reduction of air emissions associated with electric generation. While the average annual emission rates (pounds of CO2/MWH) for fossil fuel electric generation units in Connecticut has decreased by approximately 10 percent in the last 10 years,65  electric generation (megawatt hours - MWH) by all of Connecticut’s fossil fueled power plants has increased by 56 percent over the last ten years (see Electric Generation in Connecticut chart on the Zero-Carbon Energy page). Notwithstanding the reductions in air emission rates from Connecticut’s electric generating units, energy efficiency measures and energy efficient building design are preferred alternatives to electric generation as a means of reducing air emissions. 

Residential and commercial buildings use 74 percent of all electricity and 39 percent of all energy use in the United States. In Connecticut, the approximately 1.4 million households and 140,000 businesses together account for more than 70 percent of Connecticut’s 750 trillion BTU of annual energy consumption.66  With widespread adoption of existing energy-efficiency building technologies and the introduction and use of new energy efficiency technologies, energy use in homes and commercial buildings could be reduced by 50 percent.67

Technical Note:
*Personal Impact indicators illustrate trends in behavior or practices that can be expected to influence the condition of tomorrow’s air, water, land and wildlife. The vertical axis in the charts above “Residential Electric Sales” and “Efficiency at Work” have been shortened, beginning at 3,300 kWh/capita and 13.0 GDP ($)/kWh, respectively, rather than the customary zero. ** GDP in seasonally adjusted 2012 chained dollars.


62 Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electricity Data Browser, Retail Sales of Electricity, Residential Sector; www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/5?agg=2,0,1&geo=008&freq=A&start=2001&end=2019&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&rtype=s&pin=&rse=0&maptype=0
63 EIA, Electricity Data Browser, Retail Sales of Electricity, Commercial and Industrial Sector; www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/5?agg=2,0,1&geo=008&freq=A&start=2001&end=2019&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&rtype=s&pin=&rse=0&maptype=0
64 Energize Connecticut, The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund;
www.energizect.com/about. Energy Efficiency Board Annual Legislative Reports; www.energizect.com/connecticut-energy-efficiency-board/about-energy-efficiency-board/annualreports
65 Independent System Operator – New England (ISO-NE), ISO New England Electric Generator Air Emissions Reports; www.iso-ne.com/system-planning/system-plans-studies/emissions/
66 DEEP, 2018 Connecticut Comprehensive Energy Strategy, Building Sector;
67 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Emerging Technologies; https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/emerging-technologies