Energy efficiency to reduce residential electricity and natural gas use under climate change

Janet L. Reyna, Mikhail Chester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Climate change could significantly affect consumer demand for energy in buildings, as changing temperatures may alter heating and cooling loads. Warming climates could also lead to the increased adoption and use of cooling technologies in buildings. We assess residential electricity and natural gas demand in Los Angeles, California under multiple climate change projections and investigate the potential for energy efficiency to offset increased demand. We calibrate residential energy use against metered data, accounting for differences in building materials and appliances. Under temperature increases, we find that without policy intervention, residential electricity demand could increase by as much as 41-87% between 2020 and 2060. However, aggressive policies aimed at upgrading heating/cooling systems and appliances could result in electricity use increases as low as 28%, potentially avoiding the installation of new generation capacity. We therefore recommend aggressive energy efficiency, in combination with low-carbon generation sources, to offset projected increases in residential energy demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14916
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - May 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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