A cold winter in 2010 contributed to an all-time high in power demand in Southern states, where heating is largely electric. Folks used to 60-degree weather tried to stay warm as temps fell into the 20s.
Starting in 2012, the Energy Independence and Security Act required that bulbs cut energy consumption by at least 25 percent. CFLs and LEDs slash usage by up to 80 percent for each of the 40 bulbs in a typical home.
Nearly 30 percent of all meals cooked in 2016 involved a microwave, which, in some cases, can save a lot of power: Re-heating leftovers in the appliance uses 80 percent less energy than in an oven.
This article was originally published in the January/February 2018 Power issue of Popular Science.