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energy_consumption_by_sector-largeThe United States is a highly developed and industrialized society. We use a lot of energy in our homes, generic in businesses, seek in industry, and for personal travel and transporting goods.

Each Sector Plays an Important Role in Our Economy

The industrial sector includes facilities and equipment used for manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and construction.

The transportation sector comprises vehicles that transport people or goods, such as: cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, trains, subways, aircraft, boats, barges, and even hot air balloons.

The residential sector consists of homes and apartments.

The commercial sector includes buildings such as offices, malls, stores, schools, hospitals, hotels, warehouses, restaurants, places of worship, and more.

U.S. Total Energy Consumption by End-Use Sector, 1949-2009

From 1949 to 2009, primary energy consumption in the United States nearly tripled. In all but 16 of those years, primary energy consumption increased over the previous year.

The year 2009 provided a sharp contrast to this historical trend, in part due to the recession. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2% compared to 2008, and energy consumption declined as well: according to the Annual Energy Review 2009, primary energy consumption in the United States fell by nearly 5%. Decreases were registered in all four major end-use sectors: industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation.

The largest decrease in 2009 compared to 2008 was in the industrial sector, where total energy consumption fell by 10% and fossil fuel consumption fell by 9%. This drop was not surprising, as the industrial sector was particularly hard hit by the recession. While GDP fell by 2% for the Nation in 2009 compared to 2008, real value added for the manufacturing sector fell by 6%.

In 2009, total energy consumption in the transportation sector fell by nearly 4% from 2008. Decreases in total transportation sector consumption in 2008 and 2009 marked the first time since 1990 and 1991 that consumption in this sector has fallen in consecutive years. Within the sector, petroleum consumption fell by 4% in 2009 from 2008, while biofuels consumption rose by 11%.

In 2009, commercial sector total energy consumption fell by more than 1% from 2008. From 1980 through 2009, commercial sector total energy consumption fell only five times; 2009 marked the largest such decrease over that time span. In 2009, residential sector total energy consumption fell by almost 2% from 2008.

*Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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