California’s energy expenditures as a percent of GDP was 3.7 percent in 2020 down significantly from 6.9 percent in 2008. These percentages were significantly lower than those for U.S. without California, which were 4.8 percent in 2020 and 9.9 percent in 2008. Among the its peers California had the second-lowest energy expenditure as a percent of GDP behind New York (2.7%). Among the 50 states and Washington, D.C., California has the fifth-lowest percentage behind Washington (3.2%), the District of Columbia (1.2%), and Massachusetts (3.5%), in addition to New York.
Unlike previous years, statewide energy expenditures as a percent of GDP have seen a decline across the nation. In California, energy expenditures as a percent of GDP have decreased 36 basis points from 5.7 percent in 2014. Likewise, outside of California, the rest of the U.S.’ energy expenditure has decreased 41 basis points since the 2014 low of 8.2 percent. However, the big reductions from 2008 to 2020 are artifacts of oil volatility as the recent COVID-19 pandemic indicates significant interconnectedness between prices and economic activities (prices were high in 2008 but very low in 2020 due to COVID).