This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 29, 2003

EIA: U.S. Energy Use Increased 1 Percent in 2002

U.S. energy use held nearly steady in 2002, according to a new report by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. energy use increased about 1 percent above 2001 levels, but is still 1.4 percent lower than the energy consumption in 2000 and only 0.6 percent greater than 1999 consumption levels. By sector, the trends in energy use reflect trends in the U.S. economy as a whole, with residential energy use increasing 3.4 percent and accounting for most of the overall increase. In contrast, the use of energy for transportation increased 0.9 percent, commercial energy use increased 0.5 percent, and industrial energy use increased only 0.02 percent. The energy intensity of the economy-measured in energy use per dollar of gross domestic product-continued its downward trend, and is now at 10.31 thousand Btu (British thermal units) per dollar, adjusted to 1996 dollars. A decrease in energy intensity suggests that the U.S. economy is using energy more efficiently.

As already noted in EIA's Renewable Trends Report, issued in late August, the use of renewable energy increased about 10.8 percent in 2002, due largely to a 21.2 percent increase in hydropower production as the West bounced back from the 2001 drought. Wind power experienced the fastest growth of all renewable technologies, increasing nearly 59 percent over 2001 levels. See the EIA's Annual Energy Review 2002.