U.S. Energy Consumption Statistics (2023)
The United States contains less than 5% of the world’s population yet accounts for roughly 16% of the world’s total energy consumption. In this article, we will dive deep into exactly how much energy the U.S. consumes, where the energy comes from, and how energy consumption in the U.S. has changed over time.
- How Much Energy Does the U.S. Consume?
- What Are the Primary Sources of Energy in The U.S.?
- What Sectors Use the Most Energy in The U.S.?
- U.S. Energy Consumption Over Time
Key Energy Usage Statistics
- In 2022, the U.S. consumed 100.41 quads (quadrillion British thermal units) of energy. This is roughly a 3x increase from 34.6 quads of energy consumption in 1950.
- The two largest energy sources of consumption in the U.S. are petroleum (36%) and natural gas (33%).
- Households account for roughly 11.8% of the total energy consumption in the U.S.
- More than half (51%) of residential energy use is for heating and air conditioning.
- Residential electricity use has increased from 0.1 trillion kWh in 1950 to 1.5 trillion kWh in 2022, a 15x increase.
How Much Energy Does the U.S. Consume?
Apart from China, the U.S. consumes more energy than any country in the world. In 2022, the U.S. consumed 100.41 quads (quadrillion British thermal units) of energy. This equates to the amount of energy contained in roughly 17.3 million barrels of oil.
Here’s a breakdown of where the U.S. stands in terms of total global energy consumption.
U.S. Energy Consumption Per Capita
According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. is ranked 11th in the world in terms of energy consumption per capita. This comes out to around 304 million British thermal units of energy consumption per person every year.
Topping the list in terms of most energy consumption per capita were Qatar, Singapore, and Bahrain.
What Are the Primary Sources of Energy in The U.S.?
The U.S. is heavily reliant on petroleum and natural gas which together account for 69% of the country’s total energy consumption. Here’s a complete breakdown of the types of energy consumed in the U.S.
13% of energy consumption in the U.S. comes from renewable energy. Wind and biomass account for nearly two-thirds of the renewable energy used. Solar energy accounts for 14.2% of the renewable energy category or just 1.8% of the total U.S. energy consumption.
What Sectors Use the Most Energy in The U.S.?
Most energy consumed in the U.S. goes towards generating electric power (37.7%), transportation (28.1%), and the industrial sector (22.7%).
The electric power sector converts energy to electricity and then sells this energy primarily to the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Around two-thirds (65.5%) of the energy consumed by the electric power sector is lost as waste before it reaches the end consumer. 13.3% of the electricity generated is sold to the residential sector.
Accounting for the energy used by homes directly and the electricity purchased by homeowners, residential households account for roughly 11.8% of the total energy consumption in the U.S.
How Is Energy Used in Homes?
More than half (51%) of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning, which is why winter and summer have the highest electric bills. Here is a breakdown of the typical residential energy usage.
The ‘all other’ category includes the use of such devices as televisions, kitchen appliances, clothes washers and dryers, and consumer electronics.
Geographic location, type of home, types of devices, and number of household members can all affect the amount of energy a household uses. Homes in the Northeast and Midwest tend to consume more energy, especially during the winter months compared to homes in the Southern and Western states like California.
Apartments often consume less energy as they tend to be smaller than single-family homes. In addition, adjacent units can offer added insulation reducing the amount of energy needed to heat apartments to a comfortable level.
- 43% of home energy consumption comes from electricity.
- 41% of home energy consumption comes from natural gas.
- In the 1950s, coal accounted for roughly a quarter of home energy consumption, but coal's use is declining.
- The use of electricity in households has steadily increased over time from 0.25 quads in 1950 to 5.04 quads in 2021.
U.S. Energy Consumption Over Time
Energy consumption in the U.S. has consistently grown over time. In 1950 the U.S. consumed 34.6 quadrillion British thermal units of energy compared to 100.4 quads in 2022.
Here’s a glance at how energy consumption in the U.S. has grown over the past several decades.
Note that energy consumption was down in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. In 2019 the U.S. consumed 100.2 quads of energy before dipping to 92.8 quads in 2020.
Coal Consumption Over Time
In the 1950s coal accounted for around 40% of the energy consumption in the U.S. Over time the U.S. opted to meet less of its energy needs from coal. More specifically, there was a deacceleration in coal usage during the Obama administration starting in 2008. In 2022, coal accounted for just 10% of the total energy consumption.
Natural Gas Consumption Over Time
Natural gas consumption has nearly doubled since 1950, when it represented about 17% (5.97 quads) of total U.S. energy consumption. In 2022, consumption was about 33% (33.41 quads) of total U.S. energy consumption.
Petroleum Consumption Over Time
In 1977, petroleum made up 48% of all the energy used. Today, petroleum makes up only 36% of the energy used in the U.S.
Nuclear Energy Consumption Over Time
Nuclear energy came onto the scene in the 1960s and has become a significant contributor of energy in the U.S. Today nuclear energy accounts for around 8% of the energy in the U.S.
Renewable Energy Consumption Over Time
Over the past 20 years (2002-2022), renewable energy production has seen a 2.3x increase, rising from 5.7 quads to 13.4 quads. Still, only 13% of U.S. energy consumption in 2022 came from renewable sources.
The U.S. has seen a massive increase in energy consumption, reaching 100.41 quads in 2022 from just 34.6 quads in 1950. Petroleum and natural gas are the top energy sources.
Homes use 11.8% of the total energy supply, mainly for heating and cooling. Residential electricity use has surged from 0.1 trillion kWh in 1950 to 1.5 trillion kWh in 2022. Time will tell to see how the U.S. will continue to meet its growing energy needs.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (Energy Stats)
U.S. Energy Information Administration (Electricity Consumption)