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Analysis & Projections

Full report (3.41 mb)

Residential and commercial miscellaneous electric loads
Appendix A - Analysis and Representation of Miscellaneous Electric Loads in NEMS (2.28 mb)

Commercial office equipment and telecommunications equipment
Appendix B - Analysis of Commercial Miscellaneous Electric Loads-2017 update (1.27 mb)

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Analysis and Representation of Miscellaneous Electric Loads in NEMS

Release date: April 22, 2021


Miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) account for a growing portion of delivered energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings. Recently, the growth of MELs has offset some of the efficiency gains made through technology improvements and standards in major end uses such as space conditioning, lighting, and water heating. Miscellaneous end uses—including televisions, personal computers, security systems, data center servers, and many other devices—have continued to penetrate into building-related market segments. Part of this proliferation of devices and equipment can be attributed to increased service demand for entertainment, computing, and convenience appliances.

Stock, usage, and consumption data can be difficult to obtain given the dispersed and increasingly varied nature of such equipment and appliances. EIA conducts two surveys of the building sectors, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) and Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which provide information on the equipment stock and energy consumption of major end-use equipment within existing buildings. Although we capture some devices and appliances in this process, we cannot account for all MELs within buildings with these large-scale survey methods. These surveys also do not capture estimates of consumption for end uses outside of buildings, such as water treatment and distribution or telecommunications equipment.

The Residential Demand Module (RDM) and Commercial Demand Module (CDM) of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) generally project annual energy consumption of MELs by combining unit energy consumption (UEC) with total stock of equipment or devices by type. This method differs from what we use for major end-use equipment, which is modeled using a technology menu that accounts for equipment vintage, performance, and costs.

The contract reports in Appendix A and Appendix B characterize a number of residential and commercial MELs and provide the informational basis for modeling these projections with based on equipment stock and annual energy consumption across end uses. This focus enables more detailed and specific MEL projections and analysis. We will use Appendix A to help develop Reference case projections for the Annual Energy Outlook 2022 (AEO2022) and future reports. We have been using Appendix B data since AEO2018.

The contract report in Appendix A should be cited as a report by Guidehouse, Inc. and Leidos, Inc., prepared for the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The contract report in Appendix B should be cited as a report by Guidehouse, Inc. (formerly Navigant Consulting, Inc.) and Leidos, Inc., prepared for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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