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Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

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Table HC8.9 Water heating in U.S. homes by home size, 20151

Release date: October 2017
Revised date: May 2018

Number of housing units (million)
Size of home in square feet3
  Total U.S.2 Fewer
than 1,000
1,000
to 1,499
1,500
to 1,999 
2,000
to 2,499
2,500
to 2,999
3,000
or greater
All homes 118.2 26.6 26.1 17.5 14.1 10.8 23.1
Fuel used by main water heater              
Natural gas 56.3 12.1 10.2 8.2 7.1 6.1 12.6
Electricity 54.6 13.2 15.0 8.5 6.0 3.8 8.1
Propane 4.2 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.4 1.4
Fuel oil/kerosene 2.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.9
Some other fuel 0.3 Q N Q Q Q Q
Size of main water heater              
Small (30 gallons or less) 15.3 4.9 4.3 2.6 1.4 0.9 1.3
Medium (31 to 49 gallons) 51.8 7.8 12.2 9.0 7.7 5.5 9.7
Large (50 gallons or more) 31.8 2.3 5.1 4.9 4.5 4.0 11.0
Tankless 3.0 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.4 1.1
Central water heater in an apartment building 16.3 11.4 4.3 0.4 Q Q N
Age of main water heater              
Less than 2 years old 16.1 4.6 3.7 2.1 1.5 1.4 2.8
2 to 4 years old 23.9 7.4 5.0 3.2 2.6 1.7 4.1
5 to 9 years old 37.8 7.1 8.7 5.7 4.9 3.7 7.5
10 to 14 years old 23.0 3.6 4.9 3.8 2.9 2.5 5.3
15 to 19 years old 8.9 1.4 2.0 1.6 1.0 0.9 1.9
20 years or more 8.6 2.4 1.7 1.2 1.1 0.6 1.5
Fuel used by secondary water heater              
Natural gas 1.7 N Q Q Q 0.2 1.1
Electricity 2.3 Q Q 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.9
Some other fuel 0.4 N Q Q Q Q 0.2
Do not have a secondary water heater 97.6 15.1 21.5 16.5 13.4 10.1 20.9
Not asked (central water heater in an apartment building) 16.3 11.4 4.3 0.4 Q Q N
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.
3Total square footage includes all basements, finished or conditioned (heated or cooled) areas of attics, and conditioned garage space that is attached to the home. Unconditioned and unfinished areas in attics and attached garages are excluded. The square footage for some housing units was calculated based on measurements taken by the interviewer. For households responding without the presence of an interviewer, square footage was imputed based on characteristics of the housing unit. See 2015 RECS Square Footage Methodology for full details about data collection and processing.

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.