EIA expects commercial energy use to grow more slowly than floorspace

In our Annual Energy Outlook 2021 (AEO2021), EIA projects that commercial floorspace will grow significantly over the next 30 years in the United States; however, energy use grows at a much slower pace. We assume wider adoption of commercial building sensors and controls over time and other factors, including energy efficiency gains and warmer weather, will all contribute to declines in commercial energy consumption to meet heating, ventilation, and lighting needs. Other commercial energy uses will increase. We project an 8% decline in the energy intensity of commercial buildings by 2050 (a measure of energy consumed per square foot of floorspace). Commercial floorspace grows by 33%, and total commercial energy use grows by 22% between 2020 and 2050.
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