Intensity of U.S. Energy Use in Manufacturing Decreases as Output Outpaces Fuel Use
The energy intensity of U.S. manufacturing has continued to decrease, according to the latest data from EIA’s Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS). From 2010 to 2014, manufacturing fuel consumption increased by 4.7%, while real gross output increased by 9.6%—or more than twice that rate—resulting in a 4.4% decrease in energy intensity.
Like EIA’s consumption surveys of the residential and commercial sectors, MECS is conducted on a periodic basis. The latest MECS release provides manufacturing energy consumption, energy expenditures, and other energy-related metrics based on data collected in 2015, which reflects activity in 2014. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has conducted the MECS survey eight times since the initial MECS survey in 1985. The 2014 MECS sample size of approximately 15,000 establishments was drawn from a sample frame representing 97% to 98% of the national manufacturing payroll.
Although many manufacturing establishments are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption, the energy intensity decrease for total manufacturing is mostly the result of a shift of manufacturing output from energy-intensive industries, such as the manufacture of metals, chemicals, paper, and petroleum and coal products, to less energy-intensive industries. If major industries had maintained the same proportions of the manufacturing sector, the energy intensity decline between 2010 and 2014 would have been 0.7% instead of 4.4%…