U.S. energy spending falls to lowest level since 2004

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 32 views 

The total amount spent on delivered energy in the United States fell 20% to $1.127 trillion in 2015, from 2014, according to recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Adjusted for inflation, total energy expenditures in 2015 were the lowest since 2004. Total energy expenditures, expressed as a percent of the United States gross domestic product, were 6.2% in 2015, the lowest since 2002.”

The transportation sector accounted for about 45% of total U.S. energy expenditures in 2015, and this mainly includes fuels used for vehicles, rail, aircraft and waterborne vessels. Between 2014 and 2015, the amount of transportation sector expenditures declined 28% because of lower fuel prices, while the sector’s energy use rose 1% in the same period.

“Declines in petroleum product prices accounted for almost all of the overall price decline, as petroleum-based fuels accounted for 97% of total consumptions in the transportation sector in 2015,” according to the EIA. “Petroleum prices were at their lowest level since 2009, while natural gas prices were at their lowest level since 2002. In total, the U.S. spent about $507 billion on transportation sector energy in 2015.”

The percentage of energy expenditures per current-dollar GDP fell for the fourth consecutive year, and the decline between 2014 and 2015 was the largest since the 2008-2009 recession. But in the recession, the GDP fell 2.8%. In 2015, the GDP rose about 2.6%.

In 2015, California had 11% of total U.S. energy expenditures, the highest amount of energy expenditures of any state. “California’s transportation energy expenditures alone accounted for nearly 6% of total U.S. energy expenditures and were larger than the total energy expenditures for every other state except Texas. The transportation sector had the largest share of energy expenditures in 47 of the 51 states, accounting for more than half of energy expenditures in seven states.”