CCA Building Wire Supports Energy Conservation

Dustin Smith
November 16, 2023

Did you know that CCA conductors are the most electrically efficient of the three building wire conductor materials permitted by the NEC when installed per Code? Recent testing verifies that CCA conductors are 2.7% more energy efficient than copper conductors and 7% more efficient than aluminum conductors when sized in circuits per Table 310.16.1

Test data outlined in Table 1 of Chuck Mello’s whitepaper “Important Performance Differences Between Copper-Clad Aluminum and Aluminum” shows that CCA has lower DC resistance and lower AC impedance than copper and aluminum when sized according to NEC requirements.1

This electrical efficiency translates into cost savings for homeowners.

In 2022, the average annual electricity consumed by an U.S. household was 10,791 kilowatt hours (kWh), (889 kWh per month).2 The resulting average annual U.S. household electric bill was $1644 ($137 per month).3

Considering this data, if CCA’s electrical efficiencies were applied to 131.2 million U.S. households, the annual electric bill savings would translate to $5.8 billion for the replacement of copper alone!4  And, this model doesn’t even account for the savings that could be applied to commercial or industrial buildings. In these applications, the replacement of aluminum with CCA in large circuits also represents the potential for significant energy cost savings.

CCA’s efficiency reduces overall energy consumption for the power grid, as well.

Total U.S. electricity consumption in 2022 was about 4.05 trillion kWh. Of that, 1.42 trillion kWh (38.9%) went to the residential sector.5 If CCA building wire’s electrical efficiency was applied to residential use, it would render 38.3 billion kWh of energy savings for the power grid. That’s enough electricity to power approximately 3.5 million homes or a residential population the size of the city of Chicago for an entire year!6, 7