Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Oil Use

Over a quarter of the oil consumed in the United States is used in our homes, businesses, and industries.

Reducing industrial oil use

Combined heat and power plants could efficiently power industrial processes

Photo: Vattenfall

The U.S. industrial sector accounts for over 20 percent of total U.S. oil consumption. In addition to using oil to power industry, petroleum products are used as a feedstock for chemicals and plastics.

Fortunately, there are many cost-effective solutions that can be applied across industries to reduce their oil use. These solutions include replacing existing equipment with more efficient alternatives, pursuing innovations in processes and production technologies, using combined-heat-and-power systems, and relying on recycled petroleum feedstocks.

Leveraging these solutions could reduce total U.S. oil consumption by around 1.5 million barrels per day by 2035, while also saving money, reducing global warming emissions, and protecting public health. Not a bad plan.

Reducing residential and commercial oil use

Oil supplies residential heat in the U.S. northeast

Photo: Lee Lilly

In some parts of the country, particularly the northeast, oil is an important energy source for residential and commercial buildings.

Our Half the Oil plan projects that increasing the energy efficiency of buildings—and using alternatives to residential and commercial heating oil—could reduce total U.S. oil consumption by around .5 million barrels per day by 2035—without limiting our ability to heat our homes.

Learn more about home efficiency improvements in our 2012 publication, “Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low Carbon Living."

Last revised date: August 10, 2015

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to Make Change Happen

We can protect consumers, the climate, and our environment from the growing costs and risks of our oil use —but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.