Pandemic drives down U.S. energy use in 2020

Energy, Policies

Pandemic drives down U.S. energy use in 2020

Americans used approximately 7 percent less energy in 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Each year, LLNL releases flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy. Americans used 92.9 quads (quadrillion BTU) of energy, which is 7.2 quads less or 7 percent less than 2019. The highest recorded energy use in American history was in 2018, when 101.2 quads were consumed. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement for energy; 3,412 BTUs is equivalent to 1 kilowatt-hour, which is the amount of energy it takes to light an efficient LED lightbulb for a week.

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