The cost of living in 2021, as always, is expected to increase. According to the Federal Register, Americans, on average, can expect an increase of about 1.3%. Like the cost of living, an increase in the average household energy consumption along with overall energy costs and consumption is being predicted over the next several years, starting in 2021, especially in areas like the Valley, where there is a greater demand for cooling during summer. As per the electricity price increase forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there could be an increase in residential energy costs of 1.2% in each of the next two years, starting in 2021, predicting an average kilowatt per hour (kWh) of 13.3 cents across the country. At the same time, Statista is predicting a residential electricity cost increase of 2.8% in 2021.
With COVID in 2020, the commercial average electricity unit consumption per day dropped, while average household energy consumption has risen leading to a rise in overall residential electricity consumption. This trend is expected to continue, with the uncertainty of how COVID-19 will affect people’s lives in 2021, combined with a possible shift in the workforce. Many companies are weighing the cost-benefit of having their employees working remotely as a permanent solution. With the anticipation of people staying home, especially in locations like the Valley, we can see residential HVAC systems working overtime during the summer months, resulting in daytime “peak” usage going up. Electricity is our most convenient form of energy, and an increase in demand is almost assured. We have already been experiencing the average amount of individual electricity consumption worldwide grow, increasing faster than the population. Over the next two years, six nuclear reactors across the country are scheduled to stop energy production, with another two at this point still scheduled to come online.
EIA is forecasting renewable energy growth over the next several years, with solar expecting to surpass wind as the predominant source for the first time. With regulations and an aggressive renewable energy plan laid out by President Biden, Forbs predicts a “breakout year” for clean energy. With the forecasted increase in electric consumption, cost per kWh, green energy demands on power companies, and the competitive cost of residential solar. Now is the perfect time for those interested in energy independence to ask questions and look into the options available.