The article says:
"American homes are more cluttered than ever with devices, and they all need power: Cellphones and iPads that have to be charged, DVRs that run all hours, TVs that light up in high definition.
But something shocking is happening to demand for electricity in the Age of the Gadget: It's leveling off.
Over the next decade, experts expect residential power use to fall, reversing an upward trend that has been almost uninterrupted since Thomas Edison invented the modern light bulb.
In part it's because Edison's light bulb is being replaced by more efficient types of lighting, and electric devices of all kinds are getting much more efficient. But there are other factors.
New homes are being built to use less juice, and government subsidies for home energy savings programs are helping older homes use less power. In the short term, the tough economy and a weak housing market are prompting people to cut their usage."
"From 1980 to 2000, residential power demand grew by about 2.5 percent a year. From 2000 to 2010, the growth rate slowed to 2 percent. Over the next 10 years, demand is expected to decline by about 0.5 percent a year, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit group funded by the utility industry.
Overall demand, including from factories and businesses, is still expected to grow, but at only a 0.7 percent annual rate through 2035, the government says. That's well below the average of 2.5 percent a year the past four decades.
Utility executives have been aware that the rate of demand growth is slowing, but a more dramatic shift than they expected may be under way. Executives were particularly surprised by a dip during the first three months of this year, the most recent national quarterly numbers available. Adjusted for the effects of weather, residential power demand fell 1.3 percent nationwide, an unusually sharp drop."
Remember those annoying PATH ads? How about the one that showed people using electric powered devices (and hit on all your personal "comfort" personal gadgets -- your cell phone, your laptop, your TV) and told us:
"More people, more appliances, more gadgets, more equipment, what do they all need to keep going? MORE ELECTRICITY!"
The commercial showed all those people's gadgets going dark due to power failure, and then plugged their PATH transmission line.
The news article says they knew this was not true when they designed and played those ads over and over, ad nauseam.
Here's why demand has been dropping:
"Residential power use has fallen even as the number of electronic devices has exploded because the devices themselves have gotten more efficient. In the 1970s, for example, refrigerators used 2,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Today, they use 500.
IPads are everywhere and everyone seems to have a smartphone, but engineers have designed them to sip power because battery life is a major selling point. Also, these devices, as well as ever more powerful laptops, are cutting into the use of less efficient desktop computers.
The first flat screen TVs used twice as much power as their widebodied ancestors, but they have been getting dramatically more efficient in recent years, according to Tom Reddoch, executive director of energy efficiency at EPRI. "The flat panel community heard they were energy hogs and they did something about it," he says.
Appliances are expected to get even more efficient over the next two decades. An EPRI analysis predicts refrigeration will get 29 percent more efficient, space heating will get 24 percent more efficient and TVs and computers will get 22 percent more efficient. Energy needed for lighting will decline by half."
Remember those PATH ads featuring 1970s technology? Those ads skimmed over how the new versions of cell phones, video games, tvs, etc. use just a tiny fraction of the power that those clunky, old dinosaurs used.
So, was PATH's advertising knowingly false? Wouldn't that move it into the class of propaganda? What do you think?