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Fuel Mix

2018 National Fuel Mix (preliminary)

  • Natural gas supplied 34.9 percent.
  • Coal provided 27.2 percent of our nation's electricity.
  • Nuclear energy produced 19.2 percent.
  • Other renewable resources, such as geothermal, solar, and wind, provided 10.7 percent.
  • Hydropower provided 6.9 percent of the supply.
  • Fuel oil provided 0.6 percent of the generation mix.
  • Other miscellaneous sources provided 0.5 percent.
Emission Reductions
  • ​By the end of 2018, industry CO2 emissions were 27 percent below 2005 levels, driven in part by low natural gas prices, increased deployment of renewable generation and customer demands.
  • Since 1990, the industry has cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 92 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 84 percent.
  • EPA projects that power sector mercury emissions will be reduced by approximately 90 percent due to its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and other Clean Air Act regulations.


Capacity and Generation
  • ​Total installed generating capacity in the United States was 1,202,783 megawatts as of December 31, 2018.
  • The investor-owned electric company generating capacity decreased by 0.5 percent, and accounted for 32 percent of total installed capacity. 
  • Non-utility owned installed generating capacity grew from 538,811 MW in 2017 to 559,470 in 2018, an increase of 3.8 percent.
  • In 2018, total U.S. electricity generation was 4,177,810 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—an increase of 3.6 percent  from 2017.    
  • U.S. investor-owned electric companies accounted for 1,516,629 GWh, or 37.8 percent, of total U.S. electricity generation. 
  • Electricity generation at non-utility-owned plants totaled 1,852,598  GWh, accounting for 44.3 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States.
Transmission and Distribution
  • ​In 2017, investor-owned electric companies spent $21.9 billion on transmission investment, compared to $20.6 billion in 2016 (in nominal dollars), and were projected to spend $23.7 billion in 2018.
  • Investor-owned electric companies are planning to invest approximately $89 billion on transmission construction between 2018 and 2021 (in nominal dollars).  
  • In 2017, investor-owned electric companies spent $28.8 billion on distribution investment, compared to $26.9 billion in 2016 (in nominal dollars).
  • Between 2013 and 2017, investor-owned electric companies invested $125 billion (in nominal dollars) on the U.S. distribution system.


  • ​In 2017, total energy operating revenues of investor-owned electric companies were $364 billion.
  • Consolidated holding company-level assets of investor-owned electric companies were $1,566 billion as of December 31, 2017.
  • Of these assets, $1,082 billion were net property in service.
  • Total market capitalization of U.S. investor-owned electric companies was $720 billion on December 31, 2017.


Customers, Sales, and Revenues
  • ​In 2018, the average number of ultimate customers served by the electric power industry totaled 153,308,948—a 1.0 percent increase from 2017.  
  • The average annual electricity use per customer was 24,792  kilowatt-hours (kWh). 
  • Total electric company revenues from sales to ultimate customers equaled $402 billion—a 3.1 percent increase from 2017. 
  • In 2018, the average price of electricity to retail customers was 10.58 cents/kWh.
Forecast Data
  • ​According to the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2019, total electric power industry capability in the United States is forecast to increase a total of 40 percent from 2019 through 2050. Coal capability is expected to decrease 35 percent over the same time period, retiring 90 gigawatts of capability within the total electric power sector. Renewable sources increase their capability by 95 percent over the 2019 to 2050 forecast period.
  • Electricity demand is projected to increase 31 percent from 2019 to 2050, an annual rate of 0.9 percent.​​
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