The amount of fuel used to generate electricity depends on the efficiency or heat rate of the generator (or power plant) and the heat content of the fuel. Power plant efficiencies (heat rates) vary by types of generators (prime movers), power plant emission controls, and other factors. The heat content of different fuels also varies.
Two formulas can be used to calculate the amount of fuel used to generate a kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity:
Data sources for the calculations:
You can calculate the average amounts of fuels used to generate electricity in the United States, in each state, and at individual power plants using
Last reviewed: March 8, 2019