Oct 11, 2019

Americans are using less electricity thanks to LED light bulbs

Photo: Carmen Jaspersen/picture alliance/Getty Images

American residential electric use has been declining since 2010 because more households made the switch to LED light bulbs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The annual changes in electricity use aren't massive, but they will likely have significant impacts on household budgets, the environment and energy markets.

The big picture: Electricity consumption increased tenfold between 1950 and 2010, but declined following the Great Recession in 2008. The Journal notes that it's not abnormal for electric use to decline during a financial crisis, but it kept declining well past its end due to the adoption of LED bulbs.

  • The average American household spent about 10% less on electricity in 2017 than in 2010.
  • Residential electricity use in 2017 was as low as it had been since 2000.

The adoption of LED bulbs brought electricity use for lighting down by 26% from 2015 to 2017. The change meant raw consumption dropped from 129.7 million megawatt-hours a year to 95.5 million megawatt-hours.

  • What's next: If the drop in use of incandescent and halogen bulbs continues apace, that figure could dip to 61.3 million-megawatt hours by 2021.

Go deeper: How Axios' Amy Harder is trying to get greener and cheaper electricity

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Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Police block protesters at a rally on May 30 outside the state house on the fourth straight day of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd. Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday, amid tense standoffs with police in several cities.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

U.S. cities crack down on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.