U.S. Energy Information Administration logo

Electricity explained  

Preliminary data for the United States for 2018 (except where noted) as of May 2019.

Note: MW = megawatts, MWh = megawatthours, KW = kilowatts, and kWh = kilowatthours

Electricity generation from utility-scale power plants (net generation)
Total net generation 4,177,810 thousand MWh or about 4.18 trillion kWh
Share of total net generation by energy source  
Natural gas 35%
Coal 27%
Nuclear 19%
Nonhydroelectric renewables 10%
Hydroelectric (conventional) 7%
Petroleum and other sources 1%
Number of electricity generators (2017) 21,437
Largest power plant by net generation Palo Verde (nuclear)—31,097,259 MWh or about 31.1 billion kWh
Electricity generation capacity of utility-scale generators (net summer capacity) (2017)
Total net capacity
1,084,370 MW or about 1.08 billion KW
Share of capacity by energy source  
Natural gas 42%
Coal 24%
Nonhydroelectric renewables 12%
Hydroelectric (total) 9%
Conventional hydro 7%
Pumped storage hydro 2%
Nuclear 9%
Petroleum 3%
Other <1%
  Total may not equal 100% because of independent rounding.
Largest power plant by capacity Grand Coulee Dam (hydroelectric)—7,079 MW
Electricity consumption (end use) and price
Total end use 3,945,507 million kWh or about 3.95 trillion kWh
Share of end use by type  
Electricity retail sales (total) 96%
Direct use of electricity 4%
Electricity retail sales and shares by sector 3,801,928 million kWh or about 3.8 trillion kWh
Residential sector 39%
Commercial sector 36%
Industrial sector 25%
Transportation sector <1%
Largest electric utility by retail sales (within state in 2017) Florida Power & Light Company—108,513,594 MWh or about 108.51 billion kWh
Retail prices by sector (average annual)  
Residential 12.89 cents per kWh
Commercial 10.66 cents per kWh
Industrial   6.93 cents per kWh
Transportation   9.77 cents per kWh
Average 10.58 cents per kWh
State retail price rankings (average annual price for all sectors) Highest—Hawaii at 29.22 cents per kWh
Lowest—Louisiana at 7.65 cents per kWh
Average residential monthly consumption (2017) 867 kWh
Average residential monthly bill (2017) $111.67
Largest electric utility by retail sales revenues (within state, 2017) Pacific Gas & Electric Company—$12.4 billion
Emissions
Emissions from electric power plants (2017)  
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1,849,750 thousand metric tons or about 1.85 billion metric tons or about 2.04 billion short tons
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 1,657 thousand metric tons or about 1.66 million metric tons or about 1.83 million short tons
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 1,506 thousand metric tons or about 1.51 million metric tons or about 1.66 million short tons

Last updated: June 14, 2019