‹ Consumption & Efficiency

Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

About the RECS

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.

First conducted in 1978, the thirteenth RECS was conducted in 2009. The 2009 survey collected data from 12,083 households in housing units statistically selected to represent the 113.6 million housing units that are occupied as a primary residence. Data from the 2009 RECS are tabulated for the four Census regions, the nine Census divisions, and 16 States. These 16 States vary in their geography, climate, and population size.

The results of each RECS include data tables, a microdata file, and a series of reports. Data tables are generally organized across two headings; "Household Characteristics" and "Consumption & Expenditures." See RECS data tables.

The RECS and many of the EIA supplier surveys are integral ingredients for some of EIA's more comprehensive data products and reports, such as the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) and Annual Energy Review (AER). These products allow for broader comparisons across sectors, as well as projections of future consumption trends.