Frequently Asked Questions

How much electricity is lost in transmission and distribution in the United States?

EIA estimates that national electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 6% of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed in the United States each year.1

EIA has estimates for total annual losses related to electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) and other losses in the State Electricity Profiles. National level data are in the U.S. Total on the Profiles page (see link at the bottom of the page.) In each Profile, scroll down to find "Table 10: Supply and Disposition of Electricity," and see the row for Estimated Losses in the table.

To calculate T&D losses as a percentage, divide Estimated Losses by the result of Total Disposition minus Direct Use. Direct Use electricity is the electricity that is generated at facilities that is not put onto the electricity transmission and distribution grid and therefore does not contribute to T&D losses.

1Average of losses from 1990 to 2012.

Last updated: May 7, 2014

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