How Much Energy Does the U.S. Waste?
Each year the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory releases an analysis of the energy input and energy use of the U.S. economy to determine the energy efficiency. It might be somewhat surprising to know that in 2012 the U.S. wasted 61 percent of all energy input into its economy, making it just 39 percent energy efficient.
Of the 95.1 quadrillion British Thermal Units of raw energy that entered the U.S. economy, only 37.0 quadrillion BTUs were actually used, with the other 58.1 quadrillion BTUs being wasted.
In 1970, the U.S. economy actually managed to use more energy than it wasted, using 31.1 quadrillion BTUs and only wasting 30.6 quadrillion BTUs, achieving an energy efficiency of higher than 50 percent. Since then the overall energy efficiency of the economy has steadily fallen as the use of electricity generation and transport has increased. Power plants and internal combustion engines are notoriously inefficient, and as there use has increased, so the efficiency of the economy has fallen.