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Today in Energy

May 6, 2011

U.S. households increase use of consumer electronics

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey

The 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) shows that U.S. households continue to increase their use of consumer electronics, especially televisions, personal computers, and related equipment. Nearly 45% of households in 2009 had three or more televisions, an increase from less than 30% in 1997. Similarly, the majority of households had no computer in 1997; now over 76% have at least one computer. In the first iteration of RECS (1978), most homes had only one television, and personal computers had not yet been introduced into households. These increases are significant because the share of electricity consumption in U.S. homes attributable to electronics and household appliances continues to rise.

The use of peripheral devices such as digital video recorders (DVR), gaming systems, printers, and home theater systems has also increased over time.

EIA collected home energy characteristics from over 12,000 U.S. households for the 2009 RECS. EIA has conducted this survey since 1978, with the goal of providing detailed data on residential housing characteristics, energy use and energy-related expenditures. For more information on U.S. residential energy usage, go to EIA's RECS website.