The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a new "Today in Energy" brief at the end of April with some slightly good news for energy conservation. The report stated that energy demand has decelerated in the residential and transportation sectors, and total U.S. energy consumption is not expected to return to growth levels seen in the latter half of the 20th century.

Though the report does not state the exact reasons for the deceleration, it does say that declines in energy consumption tend to result from the adoption of energy efficient technologies, which are often influenced by policy measures, and structural changes in the economy.

Energy consumption by sector 1960-2040

Using data to look ahead to 2040, EIA predicts that energy consumption will primarily come from the industrial and commercial sectors, while residential and transportation energy demand growth will remain flat, or even decline slightly. "Near-zero growth in energy consumption is a recent phenomenon, and there is substantial uncertainty about the main drivers of consumption as the United States continues to recover from the latest economic recession and resumes more normal economic growth," says the EIA brief.

Earlier this month, EIA released its Annual Energy Outlook 2015, which offers predictions on U.S. energy markets through 2040 and evaluations of potential shifts in energy policies, rules, and regulations. It anticipates that U.S. energy consumption is expected to grow at a modest 0.3 percent per year through 2040, which is less than half the anticipated growth rate of the population in that same time period.