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Use of energy explained Energy use in industry

The industrial sector consists of all facilities and equipment used for producing, processing, or assembling goods. The industrial sector includes manufacturing, agriculture (farming), construction, fishing, forestry, and mining (which includes oil and natural gas extraction).

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducts the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) to collect detailed information on energy use and expenditures and other data by U.S. manufacturing establishments. In 2014, manufacturing accounted for about 75% of total U.S. industrial sector end-use energy consumption.

Natural gas use by manufacturers is increasing in the United States

According to the 2014 MECS1, use of natural gas by the manufacturing sector, as fuel and as nonfuel (feedstock), was higher in 2014 than in 2010. For use as a fuel only, natural gas's share increased from 36.6% in 2010 to 39.3% in 2014. Use of coal and petroleum liquids for fuel by manufacturers was lower in 2014 than in 2010, continuing a trend observed in each MECS from 1998 to 2014.

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Electricity use and generation by manufacturers

The amount of electricity used by U.S. manufacturers has varied somewhat from the 1998 MECS to the 2014 MECS. However, electricity's share of annual energy use (excluding feedstocks) by manufacturers has been fairly consistent at about 17%. Most of the electricity consumed by manufacturers is purchased, but some manufacturers generate their own electricity onsite (at the location of their facilities).

In 2014, about 96% of the electricity generated onsite by manufacturers was from combined heat and power (CHP) systems, which is about the same proportion as in 2006 and in 2010. Natural gas and coal are the dominant fuels in CHP systems. Electricity generation from noncombustible renewable energy sources (solar, wind, and hydropower) was about 1% of the total amount of electricity generated onsite in U.S. manufacturing in 2014.

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1 2014 is the most recent year for which MECS data are available as of July 2020.

Last updated: July 31, 2020