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U.S energy consumption sets new record

Energy consumption in the United States hit a record high last year, surpassing the previous record set more than a decade ago.

The Department of Energy reported that overall energy use reached 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units in 2018, an increase of 4% from the previous year and 0.3% higher than the earlier record set in 2007.

Consumption of petroleum, natural gas, and coal grew by 4% in 2018 and accounted for 80% of U.S. total energy consumption. Natural gas consumption reached a record high, rising by 10% from 2017. This increase in natural gas, along with relatively smaller increases in the consumption of petroleum fuels, renewable energy, and nuclear electric power, more than offset a 4% decline in coal consumption.

New wind and solar power plants helped boost consumption of renewable energy, the nation’s fourth most common fuel source, to a new high last year, increasing 3% from 2017.

U.S. total energy consumption chart

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review