Abstract Early studies of Indian energy consumption have largely been confined to commercial fuels, yet it is claimed that the higher proportion of energy consumed is non-commercial. Recent studies have looked more closely at non-commercial energy, and at the contribution of human and animal energy. This article examines and aggregates all forms of energy consumed — non-commercial and animate, as well as commercial fuels. The problems encountered with levels of aggregation are discussed, and the limitations of the conventions used are pointed out. A striking feature of the aggregated energy consumption statistics is the strong effect of the level of aggregation on the relative contribution of different energy forms.