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Today in Energy

May 1, 2019

One in four U.S. homes is all electric

share of all-electric homes by census region, 2015
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration; 2005, 2009, and 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys

A growing number of homes in the United States are all electric, with 25% of homes nationwide using only electricity according to EIA’s 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The share of all-electric homes has risen in each census region over the past decade, particularly in the Midwest and South. Changes to the types of equipment used in homes and faster population growth in warmer climates have contributed to the rise in all-electric homes.

The high cost of electric heating in colder climates has often limited the use of heat pumps and other electric equipment in those areas, but improvements to heat pump technology have helped expand their use. From 2005 to 2015, the share of U.S. homes using electricity for their main heating equipment increased from 30% to 36%, with the share of heated homes using a heat pump increasing from 8% to 12%. At the same time, the share of homes using electricity for their main water heater increased from 39% to 46%.

Single-family detached homes were the least likely to be all electric (18% in 2015), while mobile homes were the most likely (44% in 2015). Newer homes were also more likely to be all electric: 35% of homes built in 1980 or later used only electricity, compared with 17% of homes built before 1980.

share of selected end uses fueled by electricity, 2015
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey

Some end uses in homes, such as air conditioning and lighting, only use electricity. Others, such as space heating, can use a variety of fuels. The end uses considered for this analysis include space heating, water heating, air conditioning, lighting, cooking, clothes dryers, swimming pools, and hot tubs. Not included are outdoor grills, natural gas- or solar-powered outdoor lights, and uses not listed in the RECS questionnaire.

Principal contributor: Maggie Woodward