California keeps springing ahead of the U.S. in energy productivity—both in absolute terms and in proportional gains in energy productivity. In absolute terms, California generated $3.85 of GDP in 2018 (inflation-adjusted in 2019 U.S. dollars) for every 10,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) of energy consumed. On the other hand, the rest of the U.S. generated just $1.92 of economic output for the same amount of energy consumed. 2018 marked the first time when California’s energy productivity was twice that of the rest of the U.S.
In relative terms, California outperformed the rest of the U.S. in year-over-year energy efficiency gains 14 times in the last 20 years. Energy productivity in California and the rest of the U.S. grew by 82.5 percent and 41.2 percent, respectively, between 1998 and 2018, and by 31.6 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively, from 2008 to 2018. This means California averaged a 2.8 percent compounded average growth rate (CAGR) between 2008 and 2018, doubling the 1.4 percent CAGR recorded for the rest of the U.S.