In 2020, total U.S. energy consumption fell to 93 quadrillion British thermal units, down 7% from 2019, according to EIA’s Monthly Energy Review. Last year marked the largest annual decrease in U.S. energy consumption in both percentage and absolute terms in the consumption data series that dates back to 1949. Much of the 2020 decrease in energy use is attributable to economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the U.S. during the spring of 2020.
Before 2020, the largest recorded annual decrease in U.S. energy consumption occurred between 2008 and 2009, when consumption decreased by 5% during the economic recession. Other large annual decreases in U.S. energy consumption occurred during economic recessions in the early 1980s and in 2001.