Council staff is often asked if the impacts of energy efficiency in the economy are real and are they sustainable in the long run. This study took a long-term view by going back to 1990 and estimating what the energy demand in the region would have been in 2015 if the efficiency was kept at 1990 levels. This study shows that demand for all sectors and all forms of energy would have been higher. The Northwest region has been producing more goods and services with lower demand for energy.
Council staff has estimated the change in efficiency of energy use in the Northwest. Examining economic trends in residential and business sectors shows that if the regional economy had held the same level of efficiency in energy usage, regional electricity loads would have been at about 14,000 aMW higher than they were in 2015. Approximately 58% of this reduction is due to structural change in the economy and 42% is from energy efficiency programs and impacts of codes and standards.