A 20 year-old classic book about change is Who Moved My Cheese. The author says most people fear change, but living in a rapidly changing world, attitude and knowledge can alleviate fear and help people gain more control.

The electric industry is changing for the consumer. Over the next few months, Energy Consumers of the Carolinas will explore various ways this is happening.

First, a look at electric consumption.

“Americas are spending the least of their paychecks on electricity in at least 58 years as gains in energy efficiency leave more for food, vacations and gadgets.” That according to a Bloomberg New Energy story (February 2018). “Consumer spending on electricity fell to 1.3 percent of personal consumption in 2017, the lowest in records dating to 1959. … That’s down from a peak of 2.3 percent in 1982.”

What a paradox. People are much more plugged in, but now with more efficient devices. “Our numerous gadgets are all getting more efficient, so they’re less of a drain on residential electric bills. … Most importantly, we’re spending more of our time on relatively tiny and energy-efficient smartphones,” says Recode, a technology news site.  The comments are based on U.S. Energy Information Agency reports.

Interestingly, the same story notes the shift from personal to commercial consumption of power: “Also, much of our personal computing is being offloaded to the cloud – i.e. servers in data centers somewhere else. This electricity consumption – carried by the Facebooks, Googles and Amazons of the world, among other companies – is considered commercial electricity usage. There, too, we’re seeing efficiency gains, but our data demands will grow ever larger over the next 20 years.”

Knowing how we tap into our electric grid, and where that electricity is used, is essential to being wiser electric users.