U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)
- Does EIA have official EIA energy consumption statistics for counties, cities and ZIP codes?
- What is the basis for EIA’s statistics on household energy consumption and expenditures?
- Where can I find more information about the statistical models used to estimate how energy is used within U.S. homes?
- Why doesn't the average household consumption by fuel add up to the average consumption for all fuels?
- I found a table that's useful, but it's not tabulated the way I need it. Can EIA provide custom tabulations for me?
- Why do some RECS consumption statistics differ from data in other EIA data products and DOE reports, such as the Annual Energy Review (AER) and Annual Energy Outlook (AEO)?
EIA does not produce any energy consumption and end use statistics for sub-State geographies. Because the RECS is a small sample survey, tables only show data for the U.S., Census Regions, Census Divisions, and selected States. A larger sample of households in the 2009 RECS expanded the State program to 16 States. Read more ›
The statistics are based on two surveys and a statistical model. Every four years EIA conducts the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) with a sample of occupants in single family homes, apartments and mobile homes across the United States. Trained interviewers meet with residents and record information on structural characteristics of the housing unit, energy consuming behavior, appliances and equipment. Following the household survey, EIA collects energy billing data for sampled households from their energy suppliers with a second survey. Complex statistical models allocate a household’s total consumption to specific uses such as heating, cooling and refrigeration.
Appendix C of the 1997 RECS publication contains a basic summary of the models used throughout the history of the survey to estimate household end-use consumption.
Different numbers of households use different fuels, so a weighted average has to be calculated. This accounts for the different basis.
EIA is not able to produce tabulations on demand. However, we do make a micro dataset publicly available via the web so users can conduct their own analyses and tabulations. Because this survey uses complex sample design methods (unequal probabilities of selection, clustering, stratification, etc.), you should apply the variable NWEIGHT in any analyses to adjust for these design features. This ensures you will get the correct means and totals in your work. You will also have to use specialized statistical software to correctly estimate standard errors in tests of statistical significance, given the complex RECS sample design.
The AEO, AER and RECS answer different questions about energy use. Every four years, RECS provides detailed statistics on how we actually used energy in homes occupied as primary residences, a subset all homes for the year of the survey. The AER provides annual historical energy demand information and the AEO annual forecasted energy demand information. Both of these series cover the residential sector as a whole. The data that contribute to these three data series come from different sources. The RECS data are produced from in-home personal interviews with household occupants, the actual energy billing data for those households, and statistically modeled energy end-uses. Other programs within EIA and DOE use company-level data by energy sector and fuel, data from equipment/appliance manufacturers, as well as some RECS data to produce estimates for the sector as a whole. The relationship between the different data series is fairly stable. Small differences are due to variations in definitions, data inputs, and statistical methods.
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