Iron and Steel
SmartSectors

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The utilities sector employs approximately 387,000 people

Change in the Mix of Resources Used to Generate Electricity from 2007-2017

Share of U.S. Capital Expenditures

Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Savings and CO2 Emissions Avoided (2010-2016)

Use the checkboxes below to select an environmental performance indicator and an economic benchmark.

Environmental Performance Indicators





Economic Benchmarks



What is in this chart?

This chart shows total air emissions, as reported annually to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) between 1998 and 2018, by establishments classified into NAICS 2211 (electric power generation, transmission, and distribution). Total air emissions decreased from 791 million pounds in 1998 to 81 million pounds in 2018.

What are TRI air emissions?

Total air emissions reported to TRI include fugitive air emissions and stack air emissions. Fugitive air emissions are all releases to air that do not occur through a confined air stream; such emissions may include equipment leaks, releases from building ventilation systems, and evaporative losses from surface impoundments and spills. Stack air emissions are releases to air that occur through a confined air stream, such as stacks, ducts, or pipes.

The quantity of releases does not indicate the level of health risk posed by the emissions. TRI data can vary from year to year at the facility and sector levels for a variety of reasons. For questions about specific values, contact TRI. In addition to TRI reporting, utilities are subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, including permitting.

View Impact Per Unit of Production View Environmental and Economic Benchmarks

What is in this chart?

This chart shows total air emissions, as reported annually to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) between 1998 and 2018, by establishments classified into NAICS 2211 (electric power generation, transmission, and distribution). Total air emissions decreased from 791 million pounds in 1998 to 81 million pounds in 2018.

What are TRI air emissions?

Total air emissions reported to TRI include fugitive air emissions and stack air emissions. Fugitive air emissions are all releases to air that do not occur through a confined air stream; such emissions may include equipment leaks, releases from building ventilation systems, and evaporative losses from surface impoundments and spills. Stack air emissions are releases to air that occur through a confined air stream, such as stacks, ducts, or pipes.

The quantity of releases does not indicate the level of health risk posed by the emissions. TRI data can vary from year to year at the facility and sector levels for a variety of reasons. For questions about specific values, contact TRI. In addition to TRI reporting, utilities are subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, including permitting.

This sector includes electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (NAICS 2211). Establishments in this sector operate generation facilities that produce electric energy, operate transmission systems that convey electricity from the generation facility to the distribution system, and/or operate distribution systems that convey electric power received from the generation facility or the transmission system to the final consumer.

Electricity generated by power plants is conveyed through a transmission system to a distribution system before reaching the final consumer. Transmission substations use step-up transformers to convert power to high voltages for transmission over long distances. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the continental United States relies on a transmission network comprising approximately 697,000 circuit-miles of power lines and 21,500 substations operating at voltages in excess of 100 kilovolts. Electricity travels over the high-voltage transmission network to a distribution substation, where a step-down transformer reduces the voltage. The distribution system relies on millions of miles of low-voltage power lines to convey electricity to hundreds of millions of residential, commercial, and industrial customers across the 48 contiguous states. (U.S. Department of Energy).

For more information about the EPA Smart Sectors program, visit: epa.gov/smartsectors.

For more information about the utilities and power generation sector, visit:

Air Emissions

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Air Total Release check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then click Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 2211 (Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Criteria Air Pollutants

How to Download Your Data

Note: Processing National Emissions Inventory data will require use of data processing software. The data are available in a tab or comma-delimited text format that must be imported into a program that will allow you to analyze the file.

  1. For 1996, 1999, 2002, and 2005:
  2. For 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017, use the following links: At each link, click the “Data Summaries” tab, then download the file “Facility-level by Pollutant.”
  3. Utilities facilities are grouped under SIC codes 4911, 4931, and 4949 for the years 1996 and 1999 and NAICS codes beginning with 2211 for the years 2002 – 2017.
  4. Using the SIC and NAICS variables, filter for utilities facilities, then sum total emissions of CO, NOX, VOC, PM10, NH3, and SO2 in each year to arrive at the totals shown in this chart.
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Greenhouse Gases

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-04/us-ghg-inventory-chapter-text.zip. This link will open a ZIP file containing a full time series of all tables in the U.S. GHG Inventory report.
  2. Open folder for Chapter 2 - Trends
  3. In table 2-11 (Electric Power-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions), the 1996 – 2018 values in the “total” row corresponds to the values shown in this chart.
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Hazardous Waste Generation

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://rcrainfo.epa.gov/rcrainfoweb/action/modules/br/naics/view
  2. For each reporting cycle, sum the output across all NAICS codes to calculate the total shown in this chart for the year corresponding to that reporting cycle by using the following criteria:
    • NAICS code: 2211
    • Reporting cycles: 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
    • You do not need to change the “Generators to Include” dropdown or the “Location” dropdown before hitting submit.
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Production-Related Waste Managed

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Total Production Related Waste check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1998” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then click Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 2211 (Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Releases to Land

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Land Total Release check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1998” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then click Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 2211 (Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Water Discharges

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Water Total Release check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1998” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then click Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 2211 (Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Dollar Value of Gross Output

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.bea.gov/industry/gdpbyind_data.htm
  2. Select “Access Underlying Detail tables.”
  3. Select “Gross Output by Industry.”
  4. Select “U.Gross Output by Industry (A).”
  5. Select “Underlying Summary Level’ and click “Next Step.” The resulting data table will then load.
  6. Select “Modify” in the upper-right-hand corner of the table. In the resulting window:
    1. Set the scale as “Billions”
    2. Set the start year as “1997”
    3. Set the start year as “Most Recent”
    4. In the code list, select “(2211) Electric power generation, transmission and distribution.” Do not select any other item in this menu, doing so may double count.
    5. Click “Refresh Table”
  7. Row 1 of the resulting table, labeled “Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution” provides the corresponding data shown in this chart for each year.
  8. (Optional) Download the dataset in XLS, CSV, or PDF format.
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Employment

How to Download Your Data

Note: Processing employment data from the Census Bureau will require use of data processing software. The data are available in a comma-delimited text format that must be imported into a software package that will allow you to analyze the file.

  1. Go to https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cbp/data/datasets.html
  2. Click on any link labeled “County Business Patterns: YEAR.” On the resulting page, click the “Complete U.S. File” link and download the corresponding file. Repeat this process for each year from 1998 to 2018.
  3. Open each file in a software package of your choice that can process comma-delimited text files. Repeat the steps below for each file.
  4. For entities with suppressed data, the Census Bureau replaces all employment values with zeroes and this underestimates the total number of employees in each sector. Using your software package, replace the suppression flags with the midpoint of the Data Suppression Flag employment ranges per the table below.
    Empflag Data Suppression Flag Employment Size Class Midpoint
    Min Max
    A 0 19 10
    B 20 99 60
    C 100 249 175
    E 250 499 375
    F 500 999 750
    G 1000 2,499 1,750
    H 2,500 4,999 3,750
    I 5000 9,999 7,500
    J 10,000 24,999 17,500
    K 25,000 49,999 37,500
    L 50,000 99,999 75,000
    M 100,000 >100,000 100,000
  5. In your software package, filter the data for NAICS codes that begin with 2211.
  6. With the filter in place, aggregate the “emp” column across all records.
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Electricity Generation

How to Download Your Data
  1. For years 2010 through 2019:
    1. Go to https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_1_1
    2. Use the dropdowns on the top right of the page to download the “May 2020” issue in zip folder format.
    3. In the zip folder, open “Table_1_01.” Cells M6 through M15 display the annual energy production totals in this chart for years 2010 through 2019.
  2. For years 2008 and 2009:
    1. Go to https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_1_1
    2. Use the dropdowns on the top right of the page to download the “October 2018” issue in zip folder format.
    3. In the zip folder, open “Table_1_01.” Cells M6 and M7 display the annual energy production totals in this chart for years 2008 and 2009.
  3. For years 1996 through 2007:
    1. Go to https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_1_1
    2. Use the dropdowns on the top right of the page to download the “January 2011” issue in zip folder format.
    3. In the zip folder, open “epmxlfile1_1.” Cells L4 through L15 display the annual energy production totals in this chart for years 1996 through 2007.
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