Residential, commercial, and industrial energy usage varies by season. How people use energy often depends on the weather, temperature, and humidity. Business and households alike need to respond to changes in season, but how they adjust their energy consumption differs. 


The residential sector sees the most fluctuation in energy consumption by season. The most significant spikes in demand are seen during each summer and winter. As the summer heats up, air conditioning becomes the most popular method of cooling houses down. Air conditioning uses a significant amount of electricity. During the winter, homeowners employ a variety of different sources of heat. Some people use natural gas or fuel oil to heat their homes. Others may use electric resistance heating and electric heat pumps. Other homes may be powered through furnace fans, circulation pumps, and compressors, all of which are fueled by electricity. These cause electricity usage rates to spike, similarly how they do during the summer. 

The season peaks during winter and summer can reach up to 67 billion kilowatthours. 


Businesses tend to experience less variance than homes with the seasons, but there are still noticeable increases during the summer and winter. A smaller amount of the commercial sector’s energy is used for heating, cooling, and ventilation than that of the residential sector. Some commercial buildings use fuel other than electricity, such as gas-fired chillers, for their cooling or heating needs. 

The seasonal range for the commercial sector is much smaller than that of the residential sector. The demand has a range of 31 billion kWh between the spring and summer. The winter demand peak is much smaller. 

The Industrial Sector

Unlike the residential and commercial sectors, the demand for electricity in the industrial sector remains fairly flat throughout the whole year. Although companies may see a slight increase during the summer, only a very small portion of energy consumption is used for heating and cooling. Activity may change with the seasons, however. Seasonal products or processes may impact their power needs. 

The demand peak for the industrial sector is much smaller than that of the residential and commercial sectors. The demand’s summer peak only reaches about 18 billion kWh and has virtually no winter peak. 

Energy demand peaks often change by season. Demand also varies by sector. Houses, businesses, and factories all have different energy needs.