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Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

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Table HC8.2 Water heating in U.S. homes by owner/renter status, 20151

Release date: February 2017
Revised date: May 2018

Number of housing units (million)
Housing unit type
Single-family and mobile homes Apartments
  Total U.S.2 Own Rent3 Own Rent3 Own Rent3
All homes 118.2 74.5 43.7 71.2 16.5 3.3 27.2
Fuel used by main water heater              
Natural gas 56.3 36.9 19.4 35.2 7.1 1.7 12.3
Electricity 54.6 32.0 22.5 30.5 8.9 1.5 13.6
Propane 4.2 3.5 0.8 3.4 0.4 Q 0.3
Fuel oil/kerosene 2.8 1.9 0.9 1.8 Q Q 0.9
Some other fuel 0.3 0.2 Q 0.2 Q N Q
Size of main water heater              
Small (30 gallons or less) 15.3 8.4 7.0 7.7 2.7 0.6 4.3
Medium (31 to 49 gallons) 51.8 36.7 15.2 35.9 9.0 0.8 6.1
Large (50 gallons or more) 31.8 25.2 6.6 24.9 4.7 0.3 1.9
Tankless 3.0 2.7 0.3 2.7 Q Q Q
Central water heater in an apartment building 16.3 1.5 14.7 N N 1.5 14.7
Age of main water heater              
Less than 2 years old 16.1 9.0 7.1 8.5 1.6 0.5 5.5
2 to 4 years old 23.9 13.5 10.4 12.7 3.3 0.8 7.2
5 to 9 years old 37.8 24.3 13.5 23.3 6.5 1.0 7.0
10 to 14 years old 23.0 16.3 6.7 15.7 3.6 0.6 3.1
15 to 19 years old 8.9 6.2 2.6 6.1 0.8 Q 1.8
20 years or more 8.6 5.2 3.3 4.8 0.7 0.4 2.6
Fuel used by secondary water heater              
Natural gas 1.7 1.6 Q 1.5 Q Q Q
Electricity 2.3 2.0 0.2 2.0 Q Q Q
Some other fuel 0.4 0.4 N 0.4 N N N
Do not have a secondary water heater 97.6 68.9 28.7 67.2 16.3 1.7 12.3
Not asked (central water heater in an apartment building) 16.3 1.5 14.7 N N 1.5 14.7

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.
3Rented 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 households 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.