Federal government’s energy consumption falls to lowest level in 42 years

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 184 views 

Total energy consumption and total energy cost for the U.S. government declined in fiscal year 2016, according to the Federal Energy Management Program. Total energy cost, which includes the amount to operate its facilities, vehicles and equipment, declined to $16.1 billion, the lowest level since fiscal year 2004.

The amount of energy consumed by the federal government fell slightly to 0.92 quadrillion British thermal units, “the lowest on record since data collection began in (fiscal year) 1975,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

“The main contributor to lower total energy costs is the sharp decline in per-unit energy costs,” according to the EIA. Per unit energy costs fell 23% to $17.56 per million British thermal units, from the previous year and were at the lowest level since fiscal year 2007.

Petroleum accounted for 63% of the U.S. government’s total energy consumption in fiscal year 2016. Over the past two decades, its consumption has ranged between 63% and 69%. Low crude oil prices have contributed to the government’s lower energy costs over the past three years.

Jet fuel, as the most consumed fuel, comprised of 44% of the government’s total energy use in fiscal year 2016, according to the EIA. The U.S. Department of Defense used the most jet fuel. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was the civilian agency that used the most jet fuel. “Overall, the (Department of Defense) accounted for 77% of total site-delivered energy use in the U.S. federal government in (fiscal year) 2016, which was a slight decrease from the previous year and is the lowest percentage for that agency on record.”

The Department of Defense consumes the most of each energy type, except for gasoline. The U.S. Postal Service accounted for 40% of the government’s total gasoline consumption in fiscal year 2016.

The U.S. government’s energy costs are expected to rise in fiscal year 2017 as crude oil prices were about 21% higher in the year than they were in the previous year.