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According to the American Gas Association (AGA), the full-fuel cycle measure of energy use, also known as source-based energy measurement, refers to the energy consumed in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to its point of use.

Analyzing energy consumption in this way enables a more comprehensive calculation of the total energy use and greenhouse emissions impact of minimum efficiency standards for appliances. This means energy consumers would better understand how the appliances they choose impact energy consumption and the environment.

The Department of Energy is considering adopting full-fuel cycle measurement as a standard because it better recognizes the inherent efficiency of the nation's energy resources and environmental impacts. For example, in the natural gas delivery system, 92 percent of the source energy produced reaches the consumer as usable energy, compared to only 32 percent of electricity.

The infographic below compares the full-fuel cycle for different energy sources and shows how you save with natural gas.