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Frequently Asked Questions

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

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) losses average about 5% of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed annually in the United States.1

EIA has estimates for total annual T&D losses in the State Electricity Profiles. Data for each state and for the entire United States are in Table 10: Supply and Disposition of Electricity of each profile. To find the table, scroll down a Profile page to find the link under Table 1 for Full data tables 1-14. In the file, see the worksheet 10: Source-Disposition, 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 generated mainly at non-utility facilities and that is not put onto the electricity transmission and distribution grid, and therefore does not contribute to T&D losses.

1 Average of annual losses in 2012 through 2016.

Last updated: January 29, 2018

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