Power play: why your electric bill may be changing soon

Americans are buying bigger homes, using more appliances, and firing up more data centers than ever before. You’d expect electricity demand to skyrocket accordingly, but the trend is actually the opposite. Total electricity use in the US has actually declined in the past four out of five years, according to a new government study, and many analysts expect that to continue.

Electricity use was growing around 10 percent per year in the 1950s, but slowed to about 1 percent in recent years and was down almost 2 percent in 2012. There are a number of reasons why, but the change is largely due to gains in energy efficiency: new homes, office buildings, and electrical devices are more efficient than ever, especially now that new lighting…

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