Consumption & Efficiency

Residential

Analysis and Representation of Miscellaneous Electric Loads in NEMS

Released: January 6, 2014

Miscellaneous Electric Loads (MELs) comprise a growing portion of delivered energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings. Recently, the growth of MELs has offset some of the efficiency gains made through technology improvements and standards in major end uses such as space conditioning, lighting, and water heating. Miscellaneous end uses, including televisions, personal computers, security systems, data center servers, and many other devices, have continued to penetrate into building-related market segments. Part of this proliferation of devices and equipment can be attributed to increased service demand for entertainment, computing, and convenience appliances.

 
Modeling Distributed Generation in the Buildings Sectors

Released: August 29, 2013

This report focuses on how the Energy Information Administrationmodels residential and commercial sector distributed generation, including combined heat and power, for the Annual Energy Outlook.

 
State Fact Sheets on Household Energy Use

Released: August 13, 2013

The Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) gathers information through personal interviews with a nationwide sample of homes and energy suppliers. The 2009 survey was the largest RECS to date and the larger sample size allowed for the release of data for 16 individual states, in addition to national, regional, and division-level estimates.

Distributed Generation System Characteristics and Costs in the Buildings Sector

Released: August 7, 2013

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) works with technology experts to project the cost and performance of future residential and commercial sector photovoltaic (PV) and small wind installations rather than developing technology projections in-house. These reports have always been available by request. By providing the reports online, EIA is increasing transparency for the assumptions used for our Annual Energy Outlook buildings sector distributed generation projections.

 
Updated Buildings Sector Appliance and Equipment Costs and Efficiency

Released: August 7, 2013

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) works with technology experts to project the cost and efficiency of future heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and other major end-use equipment rather than developing residential and commercial technology projections in-house. These reports have always been available by request. By providing the reports online, EIA is increasing transparency for some of the most important assumptions used for our Annual Energy Outlook projections of buildings energy demand.

 
Where Does RECS Square Footage Data Come From?

Released: July 11, 2012

The size of a home is a fixed characteristic strongly associated with the amount of energy consumed within it, particularly for space heating, air conditioning, lighting, and other appliances. As a part of the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), trained interviewers measure the square footage of each housing unit. RECS square footage data allow comparison of homes with varying characteristics. In-person measurements are vital because many alternate data sources, including property tax records, real estate listings, and, respondent estimates use varying definitions and under-estimate square footage as defined for the purposes of evaluating residential energy consumption.

RECS Data Show Decreased Energy Consumption per Household

Released: June 6, 2012

Total United States energy consumption in homes has remained relatively stable for many years as increased energy efficiency has offset the increase in the number and average size of housing units, according to the newly released data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The average household consumed 90 million British thermal units (Btu) in 2009 based on RECS. This continues the downward trend in average residential energy consumption of the last 30 years. Despite increases in the number and the average size of homes plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency for space heating, air conditioning, and major appliances have all led to decreased consumption per household. Newer homes also tend to feature better insulation and other characteristics, such as double-pane windows, that improve the building envelope.

Impact of Increasing Home Size on Energy Demand, The

Released: April 19, 2012

Homes built since 1990 are on average 27% larger than homes built in earlier decades, a significant trend because most energy end-uses are correlated with the size of the home. As square footage increases, the burden on heating and cooling equipment rises, lighting requirements increase, and the likelihood that the household uses more than one refrigerator increases. Square footage typically stays fixed over the life of a home and it is a characteristic that is expensive, even impractical to alter to reduce energy consumption.

Air Conditioning in Nearly 100 Million U.S. Homes

Released: August 19, 2011

Except in the temperate climate regions along the West Coast, air conditioners (AC) are now standard equipment in most U.S. homes. As recently as 1993, only 68% of all occupied housing units had AC. The latest results from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that 87% of U.S. households are now equipped with AC. This growth occurred among all housing types and in every Census region. Wider use has coincided with much improved energy efficiency standards for AC equipment, a population shift to hotter and more humid regions, and a housing boom during which average housing sizes increased.

How Does EIA Estimate Energy Consumption and End Uses in U.S. Homes?

Released: March 28, 2011

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) administers the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) to a nationally representative sample of housing units. Specially trained interviewers collect energy characteristics on the housing unit, usage patterns, and household demographics. This information is combined with data from energy suppliers to these homes to estimate energy costs and usage for heating, cooling, appliances and other end uses  information critical to meeting future energy demand and improving efficiency and building design.

Share of Energy Used by Appliances and Consumer Electronics Increases in U.S. Homes

Released: March 28, 2011

Over the past three decades, the share of residential electricity used by appliances and electronics in U.S. homes has nearly doubled from 17% to 3% , growing from 1.77 quadrillion Btu (quads) to 3.25 quads. This rise has occurred while federal energy efficiency standards were enacted on every major appliance, overall household energy consumption actually decreased from 10.58 quads to 10.55 quads, and energy use per household fell 31%.

What's New In Our Home Energy Use?

Released: March 28, 2011

The 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) collected home energy characteristics data from over 12,000 U.S. households. This report highlights findings from the survey, with details presented in the Household Energy Characteristics tables.

EIA Household Energy Use Data Now Includes Detail on 16 States

Released: March 28, 2011

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is releasing new benchmark estimates for home energy use for the year 2009 that include detailed data for 16 states, 12 more than in past EIA residential energy surveys.

Trends in U.S. Residential Natural Gas Consumption

Released: June 23, 2010

This report presents an analysis of residential natural gas consumption trends in the United States through 2009 and analyzes consumption trends for the United States as a whole (1990 through 2009) and for each Census division (1998 through 2009).

 
Householder's Perceptions of Insulation Adequacy and Drafts in the Home in 2001

Released: August 1, 2004

In order to improve the estimation of end-use heating consumption, the Energy Information Administration's (EIA), 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), for the first time, asked respondents to judge how drafty they perceived their homes to be as a measure of insulation quality.

 
Effect of Income on Appliances in U.S. Households, The

Released: January 1, 2004

Entails how people live, the factors that cause the most differences in home lifestyle, including energy use in geographic location, socioeconomics and household income.

Cooking Trends in the United States : Are We Really Becoming a Fast Food Country?

Released: November 25, 2002

This report will refer to cooking patterns data collected in the 1993 and 2001 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys.

Winter Energy Savings from Lower Thermostat Settings

Released: December 12, 2000

This discussion provides details on the effect of lowering thermostat settings during the winter heating months of 1997.

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