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Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

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Table HC11.1 Household Energy Insecurity, 20151

Release date: October 2017
Revised date: May 2018

Number of housing units (million)      
Households reporting…        
  Total U.S.2 Any household energy insecurity3 Reducing or forgoing food or medicine to pay energy costs Leaving home at unhealthy temperature Receiving disconnect or delivery stop notice Unable to use heating equipment4 Unable to use cooling equipment5
All homes 118.2 37.0 25.3 12.8 17.2 6.1 6.9
Census region and division              
Northeast 21.0 6.2 4.0 2.5 2.7 1.4 0.6
New England 5.6 2.0 1.2 0.8 0.9 0.4 0.4
Middle Atlantic 15.4 4.1 2.8 1.7 1.8 1.0 0.2
Midwest 26.4 7.4 5.0 2.2 3.8 1.1 1.1
East North Central 18.1 5.5 3.7 1.7 2.7 0.8 0.8
West North Central 8.3 1.9 1.3 0.6 1.1 0.3 0.3
South 44.4 15.4 10.8 5.0 7.5 2.8 3.9
South Atlantic 23.5 7.6 5.1 2.2 3.4 1.5 1.9
East South Central 7.2 3.0 2.5 1.1 1.5 0.6 0.8
West South Central 13.8 4.8 3.3 1.7 2.5 0.6 1.2
West 26.4 8.1 5.5 3.1 3.2 0.8 1.3
Mountain 8.5 2.1 1.4 0.6 0.8 0.2 0.3
Mountain North 4.2 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.2
Mountain South 4.3 1.1 0.7 0.4 0.5 Q 0.2
Pacific 17.9 6.0 4.1 2.4 2.4 0.6 0.9
Census urban/rural classification6              
Urban 94.7 30.1 20.6 10.5 13.6 4.7 5.3
Urbanized area 82.2 25.9 17.6 9.0 11.9 3.8 4.3
Urban cluster 12.5 4.1 3.0 1.5 1.7 0.9 1.1
Rural 23.5 6.9 4.8 2.3 3.6 1.5 1.5
Metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area              
In metropolitan statistical area 98.5 29.9 20.5 10.2 13.8 4.5 5.1
In micropolitan statistical area 12.3 4.5 3.4 1.6 2.3 1.0 1.2
Not in metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area 7.4 2.5 1.4 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.5
Climate region7              
Very cold/Cold 42.5 12.4 8.8 4.2 5.7 2.3 1.7
Mixed-humid 33.5 10.5 7.0 3.4 5.4 2.0 2.0
Mixed-dry/Hot-dry 12.7 4.2 2.8 1.7 1.8 0.3 0.8
Hot-humid 22.8 8.0 5.4 2.8 3.7 1.3 2.1
Marine 6.7 1.9 1.3 0.7 0.7 0.2 0.2
Housing unit type              
Single-family detached 73.9 20.0 13.4 6.2 9.5 3.2 3.9
Single-family attached 7.0 2.4 1.6 1.0 1.1 0.4 0.4
Apartments in buildings with 2-4 units 9.4 4.3 3.1 1.7 1.9 0.8 0.5
Apartments in buildings with 5 or more units 21.1 6.5 4.5 2.4 2.6 0.6 0.9
Mobile homes 6.8 3.8 2.8 1.6 2.1 1.1 1.1
Year of construction              
Before 1950 20.8 7.6 5.3 2.9 3.7 1.5 0.9
1950 to 1959 12.6 4.3 2.9 1.4 2.0 0.7 0.8
1960 to 1969 12.8 4.3 2.9 1.4 2.1 0.6 0.9
1970 to 1979 18.3 6.3 4.2 2.3 2.6 1.1 1.0
1980 to 1989 16.0 4.9 3.3 1.9 2.0 0.8 1.2
1990 to 1999 16.8 4.5 3.1 1.5 2.1 1.0 1.2
2000 to 2009 17.0 4.3 2.9 1.3 2.2 0.4 0.8
2010 to 2015 3.8 1.0 0.8 0.2 0.5 0.1 0.1
Main space heating fuel              
Natural gas 57.7 16.4 11.2 5.1 8.0 2.5 2.8
Electricity 40.9 14.2 10.2 4.9 6.8 2.0 2.9
Fuel oil/kerosene 5.8 1.8 1.2 1.0 0.6 0.5 0.2
Propane 5.0 1.3 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.2
Wood 3.5 1.0 0.5 0.3 0.6 0.2 Q
Do not use heating equipment 5.1 2.2 1.4 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.6
Air-conditioning equipment              
Use air-conditioning equipment 102.8 30.7 21.2 10.3 14.6 4.8 5.8
Do not use air-conditioning equipment 15.4 6.3 4.1 2.5 2.6 1.4 1.1
Type of air-conditioning equipment used (more than one may apply)              
Use central air-conditioning equipment 76.1 19.7 13.2 5.9 9.2 2.4 4.0
Use individual air-conditioning units 32.1 12.8 9.1 5.0 6.3 2.7 2.4
Do not use air-conditioning equipment 15.4 6.3 4.1 2.5 2.6 1.4 1.1
Adequacy of insulation              
Well insulated 37.5 8.6 5.8 2.3 3.7 1.1 1.4
Adequately insulated 57.9 17.2 11.3 5.2 7.7 2.6 3.0
Poorly insulated 20.9 10.2 7.6 4.6 5.5 2.3 2.3
No insulation 1.9 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.1
Type of glass in windows              
Single-pane glass 48.7 19.2 13.4 7.2 9.1 3.6 3.8
Double-pane glass 68.3 17.5 11.7 5.6 8.0 2.5 3.0
Triple-pane glass 1.2 0.3 0.2 Q Q Q Q
Number of household members              
1 member 28.7 8.4 5.4 3.7 3.4 1.3 1.3
2 members 42.7 10.2 7.1 3.6 4.1 1.3 2.0
3 members 19.4 6.9 4.9 2.2 3.1 1.2 1.4
4 members 15.5 6.0 4.4 1.7 3.3 1.2 1.1
5 members 7.2 3.3 2.2 0.9 1.8 0.6 0.6
6 or more members 4.6 2.3 1.3 0.7 1.5 0.6 0.6
2015 annual household income              
Less than $20,000 22.9 11.4 8.8 4.6 5.3 2.4 2.3
$20,000 to $39,999 27.3 11.0 8.0 3.8 5.4 1.9 2.2
$40,000 to $59,999 18.4 6.3 4.2 1.9 2.9 1.0 1.0
$60,000 to $79,999 15.2 3.9 2.2 1.1 1.8 0.5 0.8
$80,000 to $99,999 9.7 1.8 0.8 0.4 0.8 0.1 0.2
$100,000 to $119,999 8.1 1.0 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.1
$120,000 to $139,999 5.4 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.3 Q Q
$140,000 or more 11.2 0.9 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.2
Payment method for energy bills              
All paid by household 105.8 33.7 23.0 11.2 16.3 5.4 6.3
Some paid by household, some included in rent or condo fee 6.1 1.8 1.3 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.3
All included in rent or condo fee 5.5 1.2 0.7 0.6 Q 0.3 0.2
Some other method 0.9 0.4 0.2 0.2 Q Q 0.1
Householder 60 or older8              
Yes 39.0 7.9 5.1 3.3 2.5 0.9 1.5
No 76.7 28.3 19.7 9.2 14.3 4.9 5.1
Children under 18 in household              
Yes 37.7 15.6 10.9 4.4 8.7 2.8 2.9
No 80.5 21.4 14.5 8.4 8.5 3.4 4.0
Ethnicity of householder8              
Hispanic or Latino 15.0 6.8 4.8 2.5 2.8 1.1 1.3
Not Hispanic or Latino 103.2 30.2 20.6 10.3 14.4 5.0 5.5
Race of householder8,9              
White 95.4 26.8 18.2 9.6 12.0 4.2 4.9
Hispanic or Latino 13.8 6.1 4.2 2.2 2.6 0.9 1.2
Not Hispanic or Latino 81.6 20.7 14.0 7.3 9.5 3.2 3.7
Black or African American 13.6 7.1 4.9 2.3 3.8 1.4 1.4
Hispanic or Latino 0.5 0.3 0.3 Q Q Q Q
Not Hispanic or Latino 13.1 6.8 4.7 2.2 3.7 1.4 1.4
Asian 4.9 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1
American Indian or Alaska Native 1.3 0.7 0.5 Q 0.5 0.1 0.2
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.3 Q Q Q Q Q
More than one race 2.5 1.1 0.7 0.4 0.6 0.2 0.3
Ownership of housing unit10              
Owned 74.5 18.0 11.6 6.0 7.5 3.3 3.8
Rented 43.7 19.0 13.7 6.8 9.7 2.8 3.0
1Housing characteristics data were collected between August 2015 and April 2016.
2Total U.S. includes all primary occupied housing units in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Vacant housing units, seasonal units, second homes, military houses, and group quarters are excluded.
 3Household energy insecurity as defined in this table includes only those issues collected as part of the RECS questionnaire. Other factors, such as energy costs as a percentage of household income, could be considered as household energy insecurity, but are not included here. Respondents may report more than one energy insecurity issue.
4Includes inability to use main heating equipment because equipment was broken and household could not have it repaired; or electricity, natural gas, or bulk fuel disruption due to lack of payment.
5Includes inability to use air-conditoning equipment because equipment was broken and household could not have it repaired or electricity disruption due to lack of payment.
6Housing units are classified using criteria created by the U.S. Census Bureau based on 2010 Census data. Urbanized areas are densely settled groupings of blocks or tracts with 50,000 or more people, while urban clusters have at least 2,500 but less than 50,000 people. All other areas are rural.
7These climate regions were created by the Building America program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
8A householder is a person in whose name the home is owned or rented. These characteristics refer to the householder that completed the RECS questionnaire. 
9Householders were permitted to select more than one racial category to describe themselves. These householders are only included as More than one race.       
10Rented includes households that occupy their primary housing units without paying rent.

Q = Data withheld because either the Relative Standard Error (RSE) was greater than 50% or fewer than 10 cases responded.
N = No cases responded.

Notes:  Because of rounding, data may not sum to totals. See RECS Terminology for definition of terms used in these tables.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Office of Energy Consumption and Efficiency Statistics, Forms EIA-457A and EIA-457C of the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.