Overview

EEI maintains comprehensive statistical data on the electric power industry and investor-owned electric companies. Below are quick statistical highlights providing an overview of the industry.

For more detailed information, please see EEI’s other resources:

EEI Financial Review

Electric Company Industry Financial Data and Analysis

Weekly Electric Output

Statistical Yearbook of the Electric Utility Industry

Fuel Mix

2021 National Energy Resource Mix

  • Coal provided 21.6 percent of our nation's electricity.
  • Natural gas supplied 37.8 percent.
  • Nuclear energy produced 18.7 percent.
  • Wind provided 9.1 percent.
  • Hydropower provided 6.2 percent of the supply.
  • Other renewable resources, such as biomass, geothermal, and solar, provided 5.7 percent.
  • Other fuel sources, including fuel oil, provided 0.9 percent of the generation mix. 

The Mix of Resources Used to Generate Electricity Has Changed Dramatically

Electric Companies Use a Diverse Mix Of Resources to Generate Electricity

Emission Reductions

  • Preliminary estimates suggest that as of year-end 2021, the electric power sector’s carbon emissions were 36 percent below 2005 levels. In addition, emissions from the electric power sector are no longer the leading source of the nation’s CO2 and have been lower than the emissions from the transportation sector since 2016.
  • Since 1990, the industry has cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 94 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 88 percent.
  • As a result of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and other Clean Air Act regulations, from 2010 to 2017, the electric power industry has reduced mercury emissions by 86 percent and total emissions of hazardous air pollutants by 96 percent. National total power sector mercury emissions have been reduced by 95 percent over the period 1990 to 2021 (from 59 to 3 tons per year).

Power Plant Emissions Drop Significantly Since 1990

U.S. Power Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions Declining

Capacity and Generation

  • Total installed generating capacity in the United States was 1,229,482 megawatts (MW) as of December 31, 2020, an increase of 16,898 MW over year-end 2019 capacity totals.
  • Investments in wind and solar energy accounted for 26,299 MW or 75 percent of approximately 35,000 MW of electricity capacity additions in the United States in 2020.
  • A total of 9,600 MW of coal generating capacity was retired in 2020.
  • In 2020, total U.S. electricity generation was 4,009,085 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—a decrease of 2.9 percent from total generation in 2019.
  • U.S. investor-owned electric companies accounted for 1,350,672 GWh, or 33.7 percent, of total U.S. electricity generation.
  • Electricity generation at independent power producer-owned plants totaled 1,868,313 GWh, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States in 2020. 

Sources of Electric Generation (by type of ownership)

Transmission and Distribution

  • In 2020, investor-owned electric companies spent $25.0 billion on transmission investment, compared to $23.7 billion in 2019 (in nominal dollars), and were projected to spend $27.8 billion in 2021.
  • Investor-owned electric companies are planning to invest approximately $109 billion on transmission construction between 2021 and 2024 (in nominal dollars).
  • In 2020, investor-owned electric companies spent $40.3 billion on distribution investment, compared to $36.0 billion in 2019 (in nominal dollars).
  • Between 2016 and 2020, investor-owned electric companies invested $164 billion (in nominal dollars) on the U.S. distribution system. 

Historical and Projected Transmission Investment

Financial

  • In 2020, total energy operating revenues of investor-owned electric companies were $351 billion.
  • Consolidated holding company-level assets of investor-owned electric companies were $1,867 billion as of December 31, 2020.
  • Of these assets, $1,199 billion were net property in service.
  • Total market capitalization of U.S. investor-owned electric companies was $894 billion on December 31, 2020. 

Industry Capital Expenditures

Customers, Sales, and Revenues

  • In 2020, the average number of ultimate customers served by the electric power industry totaled 156,771,396—a 1.2 percent increase from 2019.
  • The average annual electricity use per residential customer in 2020 was 10,667 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • Total electric company revenues from sales to ultimate customers equaled $391 billion—a 2.8 percent decrease from 2019 total revenues.
  • In 2020, the average residential price of electricity to retail customers was 13.20 cents/kWh.

Staff Contacts

Additional data inquiries can be sent to energydata@eei.org

  • Bill Pfister
    Senior Director, Business Analytics
    bpfister@eei.org
    202-508-5531