Principal contributor: Allen McFarland
In 2020, energy consumption declined by a record 7.5% in the United States, mostly as a result of pandemic effects and relatively warmer weather. Data from our State Energy Data System (SEDS) show that declines in energy consumption varied significantly by state. The states that had the largest declines tended to have significantly less energy used in transportation.
In Hawaii, energy consumption dropped 24%, the largest percentage decline of any state. In 2020, energy consumption in Hawaii for transportation declined by 37% from 2019. Typically, one-third of Hawaii’s energy consumption is as jet fuel, the largest jet fuel share of any state. Jet fuel consumption in Hawaii decreased by almost half in 2020.
Alaska was the only state where energy consumption increased in 2020, primarily because it was the only state with colder weather than in 2019, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Residential energy consumption in Alaska increased by 12%, and energy consumption for transportation and industry also increased.
In all states except Hawaii and Alaska, more motor gasoline is consumed than jet fuel. Of the nine states with at least a 10% decrease in energy consumption in 2020, all had at least a 14% decrease in motor gasoline consumption.
Energy consumption declined only slightly in Louisiana in 2020. The industrial sector accounts for more than 70% of total energy consumption in Louisiana. In large part, industrial sector consumption is related to energy production, which was almost flat in 2020. Idaho and South Dakota, the states with the next smallest declines in energy consumption, are among the least densely populated states, and motor gasoline consumption stayed close to 2019 levels in those states.