California was the largest net importer of electricity of any state

California was the largest net importer of electricity among all the states that make up the United States in 2019, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

Electricity routinely flows between the Lower 48 states and, to a lesser extent, between the United States and Canada and Mexico.

Electricity generation exceeds electricity consumption in 25 states, and excess electricity is transmitted across state lines; Almost 10% of America’s electricity generation is traded between states.


In 2019, California’s net electricity imports were the largest in the country at 70.8 million megawatt hours (MWh), or 25% of California’s total electricity supply.

Pennsylvania’s electricity exports were the largest of any state in 2019, at 70.5 million MWh, that’s 24% of the total supply.

California utilities own and partly import power from various power plants in Arizona and Utah.

Additionally, California’s electricity imports include hydroelectric power from the Pacific Northwest, primarily through high-voltage transmission lines running from Oregon to the Los Angeles area.

Other prominent states

Pennsylvania’s electricity generation was the third largest in the country, behind Texas and Florida.

Nuclear power plants and natural gas plants produced the majority of electricity in the state of Pennsylvania in 2019, at 43% and 36%, respectively.

Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation, after Illinois, in nuclear power generation capacity.

Although Ohio is among the top 10 states for electricity generation, it was the second largest importer of electricity in 2019.

Ohio’s large population, heavily industrialized economy, and wide seasonal temperature variation create high demand for electricity, sometimes exceeding generation in the state.

The EIA State Electricity Profiles provide data on inter-state electricity trade and international imports and exports.

The EIA calculates net interstate electricity trade by subtracting total reported retail electricity sales, direct use, international exports, and estimated line losses from total electricity supply.