U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)
Data from the 1999 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) are presented in the Building Characteristics tables, which include number of buildings and total floorspace for various Building Characteristics, and Consumption and Expenditures tables, which include energy usage figures for major energy sources.
Summary Tables For All Principal Building Activities
|Number of Buildings (thousand)||Floorspace (million square feet)||Square Feet per Building (thousand)||Median Age of Building (years)|
|Principal Building Activity|
|- Lodging (other than nursing)||128||3,838||30.1||29.5|
|- Skilled Nursing||25||683||26.9||16.5|
|- Retail (other than mall)||534||4,766||8.9||40.5|
|- Strip Malls||131||3,950||30.2||24.5|
|- Enclosed Malls||3||1,681||606.8||33.5|
|Public Order and Safety||72||1,168||16.2||24.5|
|Warehouse and Storage||603||10,477||17.4||24.5|
|- Other (other than laboratory)||75||798||10.7||31.5|
|Total Employees (thousand)||Employees per Building||Square Feet per Employee||Average Hours Open per Week|
|Principal Building Activity|
|- Lodging (other than nursing)||1,526||12||2,515||150|
|- Skilled Nursing||830||33||823||151|
|- Retail (other than mall)||4,668||9||1,021||62|
|- Strip Malls||5,154||39||766||77|
|- Enclosed Malls||1,562||564||1,076||75|
|Public Order and Safety||1,702||24||686||95|
|Warehouse and Storage||6,216||10||1,685||49|
|- Other (other than laboratory)||656||9||1,217||49|
The first set of detailed tables for the 1999 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) consists of building characteristics tables B1 through B39, which contain the number of buildings and amount of floorspace for major building characteristics. Tables B1 and B2 of this set are summary tables. Tables B3 through B16 address location, building size, year constructed, number of workers, hours of operation, and types of occupancy. Tables B17 through B27 contain data about the energy sources used for all end uses and for specific major end uses. Tables B28 through B39 contain data about percent of floorspace heated, cooled, and lit, and energy-using equipment types (heating, cooling, refrigeration, water heating, and lighting).
The second set of tables consists of energy consumption and expenditures tables C1 through C26, which present detailed energy consumption and expenditure data for buildings in the commercial sector. These tables are grouped into major fuel tables (Tables C1 through C8) and specific fuel tables. The specific fuel tables consist of Tables C9 through C14 for electricity, Tables C15 through C20 for natural gas, Tables C21 through C24 for fuel oil, and Tables C25 and C26 for district heat.
The column categories most commonly classify data by building characteristics or by consumption and expenditures. The following data items, listed in alphabetical order, are explanations of some of the column categories found in the set of energy consumption and expenditures tables that may require clarification.
Conditional Energy Intensity—The amount of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or district heat used per square foot in only buildings using the specified energy source. For example, in consumption and expenditures Table C11, data in the row labeled "Education" under "Principal Buiding Activity" and in the column labeled "Northeast" under "Electricity Energy Intensity" would be interpreted: "In 1999, education buildings in the Northeast that used electricity as an energy source used 8.2 kilowatthours of electricity per square foot."
Distribution of Building-Level Intensities—The amount of energy used per square foot, divided into three percentiles: 25th, median, and 75th. In Table C10, for example, the row labeled "Over 500,000" under "Building Floorspace" and in the column labeled "25th Percentile" under "Distribution of Building-Level Intensities" would be interpreted: "In 1999, 25 percent of buildings in the U.S. over 500,000 square feet in size used 8.9 kilowatthours per square foot or less. (75 percent of the buildings used more than 8.9 kilowatthours of electricity per square foot.)"
Electricity—Site electricity. (See "site electricity" and "primary electricity" in this listing.)
Energy Intensity—Usually defined as "gross energy intensity" or "conditional energy intensity" in title of table. If table title does not specify, "energy intensity" is to be defined as "conditional energy intensity."
Floorspace—The enclosed area in a building; the sum of the floorspace in all buildings in a category.
Gross Energy Intensity—The ratio of the total amount of energy consumed by a group of buildings to the total floorspace of those buildings, including buildings and floorspace where the energy source is not used. For example, in Table C5, data in the row category "Education" under "Principal Building Activity" and in the column category of "Northeast" under "Energy Intensity for Sum of Major Fuels" would read: "In 1999, education buildings in the Northeast consumed 90.0 thousand Btu per square foot."
Major Fuel—Major energy sources: electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district heat (district steam or district hot water). Although electricity is technically not a fuel, "Major Fuel," rather than "Major Energy Source," was retained as the title of this category to facilitate comparison of previous CBECS data.
Primary Electricity—Site electricity plus the losses associated with the generation and transmission of the electricity. Most of the tables present statistics for site consumption alone, but Tables C1 and C9 also provide consumption statistics for primary electricity.
Site Electricity—The amount of electricity delivered to the commercial building. This amount excludes losses associated with the generation and transmission of the electricity. (See "primary electricity" in this listing.) Most of the tables in this section provide statistics for site electricity alone (not for primary electricity). When the term "electricity" is used, the reference is to site electricity.
Total of Major Fuels—The sum of site electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district heat. Statistics in this column exclude data from the column "Primary Electricity."
The row categories classify data by specific features, such as principal building activity or energy sources used. Data in the row categories relate to the buildings having such a feature, not to the amount of energy used by a feature. For example, in consumption and expenditures Table C1, the data in the "Major Fuels" column and the row category "Buildings with Cooling" under "Energy End Uses" is to be interpreted as "Buildings with cooling consumed 5,344 trillion Btu of the major fuels" (not "5,344 trillion Btu of the major fuels were used for cooling"). Tables C1 through 26 contain no data on the energy consumption for cooling specifically. Estimates of energy used for specific end uses will be published in early 2003.
Below are explanations of some of the row categories found in the tables that may require clarification. These terms are listed in the order in which they occur in the tables.
All Buildings—All roofed and walled structures whose principal activities are nonresidential, nonagricultural, and nonindustrial and that are larger than 1,000 square feet (roughly twice the size of a two-car garage).
Principal Building Activity—A classificaiton of the activity that occupies the most floorspace in the buildings. Some building types are combined in the tables. For example, inpatient and outpatient health care facilities were combined as "health care buildings," refrigerated and non-refrigerated warehouses were combined as "warehouses," and skilled nursing care buildings were included in "lodging." See "Description of types of buildings" for a full description of the principal building activity categories.
Census Region and Division—The geographical areas as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Census. See "Census Regions and Divisions map" for a map that shows the four Census Regions and nine Census Divisions.
Climate Zone—The five U.S. climate zones are based on the average number of cooling degree-days (CDD) and heating degree-days (HDD) in a 45-year period (1931-1975). See "U.S. Climate Zone map" for a map that shows the five U.S. climate zones.
Vacancy Status—This is a new row stub for the 1999 CBECS. "Completely Vacant" buildings are those that are 100 percent vacant; "Mostly Vacant" buildings are those in which the majority of the floorspace is vacant; "Partially Vacant" are those in which some (but not a majority) of the floorspace is vacant or some portion of the building was vacant for at least three consecutive months in 1999; and "Not At All Vacant" are those in which no portion of the building was reported as vacant in 1999.
Energy Sources—Buildings using a specific type of energy (electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, district heat [district steam or district hot water], district chilled water, propane, and any other type of energy [wood, coal, or solar]). The energy consumption and expenditures tables contain actual consumption data for the first four sources only. Estimates of the amount of wood burned in buildings were obtained during the personal interviews with building respondents. No consumption data were collected for propane, coal, solar energy, or other renewable sources because such a collection effort would not be feasible.
Energy End Uses—Buildings that had specific end uses (heating, air-conditioning, water heating, cooking, and manufacturing), not the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for a particular end use.
Space-Heating Energy Sources—Buildings using at least one of the major fuels, propane, wood, or any other energy source for space heating. (In some tables, this category is subdivided into "Main and Secondary Energy Sources.") Tables C1 through C26 contain no data on the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for space heating specifically. Tables providing information on the amount of electricity or natural gas used specifically for space heating will be published in early 2003.
Primary Space-Heating Energy Source—Buildings using a specific energy source to heat most of the square footage in the building most of the time. Tables C1 through C26 contain no specific data on the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for space heating. Tables providing information on the amount of electricity or natural gas used specifically for space heating will be published in early 2003.
Cooling Energy Source—Buildings using electricity, natural gas, or district chilled water for cooling. Tables C1 through C26 contain no specific data on the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for cooling. Tables providing information on the amount of electricity specifically used for cooling will be published in early 2003.
Water-Heating Energy Source—Buildings using one of the major fuels or propane for water heating. Tables C1 through C26 contain no specific data on the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for water heating. Tables providing information on the amount of electricity or natural gas used specifically for water heating will be published in early 2003.
Cooking Energy Source—Buildings using electricity, natural gas, or propane for cooking. Tables C1 through C26 contain no data specific on the amount of energy consumption or expenditures for cooking. Tables providing information on the amount of electricity or natural gas specifically used for cooking will be published in early 2003.
|Building Characteristics Tables for All Buildings (Including Malls)||Additional Formats|
|All Tables (Tables B1-B39, C1-C26, 243 pages, 4.01MB)|
|All Buildings Characteristics Tables (Tables B1-B39)|
|Summary (Tables B1-B2)|
|Table B1. Summary Table: Totals and Means of Floorspace, Number of Workers, and Hours of Operation||PDF XLS|
|Table B2. Summary Table: Totals and Medians of Floorspace, Number of Workers, Hours of Operation, and Age of Building||PDF XLS|
|Location (Tables B3-B5)|
|Table B3. Census Region, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B4. Census Region and Division, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B5. Census Region and Division, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Size and Age (Tables B6-B9)|
|Table B6. Building Size, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B7. Building Size, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B8. Year Constructed, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B9. Year Constructed, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Employment and Occupancy (Tables B10-B16)|
|Table B10. Employment Size Category, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B11. Employment Size Category, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B12. Occupancy of Nongovernment-Owned and Government-Owned Buildings, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B13. Occupancy of Nongovernment-Owned and Government-Owned Buildings, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B14. Number of Establishments in Building, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B15. Number of Establishments in Building, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B16. Multibuilding Facilities, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Energy Sources and End Use (Tables B17-B27)|
|Table B17. Energy Sources, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B18. Energy Sources, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B19. Energy End Uses, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B20. Space-Heating Energy Sources, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B21. Space-Heating Energy Sources, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B22. Primary Space-Heating Energy Sources, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B23. Primary Space-Heating Energy Sources, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B24. Cooling Energy Sources, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B25. Water-Heating Energy Sources, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B26. Water-Heating Energy Sources, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B27. Cooking Energy Sources, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Floorspace Heated, Cooled and Lit (Tables B28-B31)|
|Table B28. Percent of Floorspace Heated, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B29. Percent of Floorspace Cooled, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B30. Percent of Floorspace Lit When Open, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B31. Heated, Cooled, and Lit Buildings, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|End-Use Equipment (Tables B32-B39)|
|Table B32. Heating Equipment, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B33. Heating Equipment, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B34. Cooling Equipment, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B35. Cooling Equipment, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B36. Refrigeration Equipment, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B37. Water Heating Equipment, Number of Buildings and Floorspace||PDF XLS|
|Table B38. Lighting Equipment, Number of Buildings||PDF XLS|
|Table B39. Lighting Equipment, Floorspace||PDF XLS|
Standard error is a measure of the reliability or precision of the survey statistic. The value for the standard error can be used to construct confidence intervals and to perform hypothesis tests by standard statistical methods. Relative Standard Error (RSE) is defined as the standard error (square root of the variance) of a survey estimate, divided by the survey estimate and multiplied by 100. (More information on RSEs)
RSEs are available as a worksheet tab on all of the Excel tables above or in PDF format here:
- RSE Tabes for Building Characteristics (PDF: 125 pages, 2.39 MB)
Questions about CBECS may be directed to:
Natural gas use features two seasonal peaks per year
September 11, 2015