Table 8.1. Average Operating Heat Rate for Selected Energy Sources,
2002 through 2012 (Btu per Kilowatthour)

Year Coal Petroleum Natural Gas Nuclear
2002 10,314 10,641 9,533 10,442
2003 10,297 10,610 9,207 10,422
2004 10,331 10,571 8,647 10,428
2005 10,373 10,631 8,551 10,436
2006 10,351 10,809 8,471 10,435
2007 10,375 10,794 8,403 10,489
2008 10,378 11,015 8,305 10,452
2009 10,414 10,923 8,159 10,459
2010 10,415 10,984 8,185 10,452
2011 10,444 10,829 8,152 10,464
2012 10,498 10,991 8,039 10,479

Coal includes anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous and lignite coal. Waste coal and synthetic coal are included starting in 2002.
Petroleum includes distillate fuel oil (all diesel and No. 1 and No. 2 fuel oils), residual fuel oil (No. 5 and No. 6 fuel oils and bunker C fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene, petroleum coke, and waste oil.

Notes:
Included in the calculation for coal, petroleum, and natural gas average operating heat rate are electric power plants in the utility and independent power producer sectors.
Combined heat and power plants, and all plants in the commercial and industrial sectors are excluded from the calculations.
The nuclear average heat rate is the weighted average tested heat rate for nuclear units as reported on the Form EIA-860.

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, "Power Plant Operations Report," and predecessor form(s) including U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-906, "Power Plant Report;" and Form EIA-920, "Combined Heat and Power Plant Report;" Form EIA-860, "Annual Electric Generator Report."