Natural gas and electricity consumption combined has held steady (+0.0%) in California between 2000 and 2019 even though the population increased by 16.2 percent. Within the total combined consumption, natural gas consumption is 4.0 percent lower in 2019 than in 2000, while electricity consumption increased by 6.2 percent during the same period.
Per capita natural gas consumption across all sectors was 17.4 percent lower in 2019 than in 2000—but only 1.8 percent lower than in 2009. Per capita electricity consumption (all sectors) was 8.6 percent lower in 2019 than in 2000 and 6.3 percent lower than in 2009. Per capita natural gas consumption and electricity consumption in residential sector were 21.5 percent lower and 2.2 percent lower, respectively, from 2000 to 2019—suggesting both a gradual gain in energy efficiency in residential buildings and that electricity has become more popular relative to natural gas in powering residential buildings.
In spite of the decade’s gains, natural gas consumption in California is still higher than electricity consumption—indicating that the state has a long way to go in terms of electrification. Total natural gas consumption in 2019 jumped 4.9 percent year-over-year—the highest percentage increase since 2013—and was up 7.3 percent in 2019 relative to 2014, while electricity consumption has decreased slightly (-1.4%) during the same period. By sector, commercial (since 2014), industrial (since 2009) and residential (since 2014) all have had sustained increases in natural gas consumption.