Consumption & Efficiency

Energy In Brief

What are the major sources and users of energy in the United States?

The major energy sources in the United States are petroleum (oil), natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable energy. The major users are residential and commercial buildings, industry, transportation, and electric power generators. The pattern of fuel use varies widely by sector. For example, oil provides 93% of the energy used for transportation, but only about 1% of the energy used to generate electric power.

How can we compare or add up our energy consumption?

To compare or aggregate energy consumption across different energy sources like oil, natural gas, and electricity, we must use a common unit of measure. This is similar to calculating your food energy intake by adding up the calories in whatever you eat.

Energy Explained

How We Use Energy

The United States is a highly developed and industrialized society. We use a lot of energy in our homes, in businesses, in industry, and for personal travel and transporting goods.


Annual Energy Outlook 2014 cover Annual Energy Outlook 2014

Released May 7, 2014 | Next Early Release: December 2014

Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case focus on the factors that shape U.S. energy markets through 2040.

bar chartCost of Natural Gas Used in Manufacturing Sector Has Fallen

Released September 6, 2013

Natural gas has been an important exception to the trend of rising prices for energy sources used by manufacturers. Production of natural gas in the United States increased rapidly beginning in 2007 as a result of resources found in shale formations. That increase in supply has in turn lowered the price of natural gas to manufacturers as well as other consumers.

State-level map showing estimates of noncombustible renewable energy for 2011
State Energy Data System: Noncombustible Renewable Energy for 2011

Released May 10, 2013

Annual state-level estimates of consumption for hydroelectric power, wind, geothermal, and solar energy.

bar chartManufacturing energy consumption data show large reductions in both manufacturing energy use and the energy intensity of manufacturing activity between 2002 and 2010

Released March 19, 2013

Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010 (Figure 1), according to new 2010 MECS data.

Small image title Keeping our Homes WarmWatch: Keeping our Homes Warm

Released November 2, 2012

A video about changes in home heating in the United States.

Small image of energy consumption by source bar chart related to Table 1.6 of linked Annual Energy Review.Annual Energy Review Consumption Statistics

Released September 27, 2012

A report of annual energy statistics through 2011. Included are data for energy consumption by source and by sector.

small image of hospital signEnergy Characteristics and Energy Consumed in Large Hospital Buildings in the United States in 2007

Released August 17, 2012

Includes estimates of building characteristics, energy sources, end uses, energy management features, energy consumption, and water consumption for hospital buildings greater than 200,000 square feet.