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Today in Energy

July 12, 2022

Over one-quarter of U.S. households use electricity as the only source of energy

all-electric homes by state
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey

In 2020, 26% of U.S. households used electricity as the only source of energy (32.25 million out of 123.53 million homes), according to our 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Most U.S. homes use electricity and at least one other fuel, such as natural gas, fuel oil, propane, or wood.

The states with the largest share of all-electric homes in 2020 were Florida, at 77% of homes (6.2 million), and Hawaii, at 72% (0.34 million). Typically, states with the smallest shares of all-electric homes were in colder climates, where space heating and water heating equipment tend to use natural gas, fuel oil, or propane. For example, 7% of homes in both New York (0.56 million) and Michigan (0.26 million) were all-electric.

Although space heating considerations can account for some variation in the number of all-electric homes, other factors—especially fuel infrastructure and availability—also affect the type of energy used in homes. For example, although California has a mild climate, only 8% (1.1 million) of California homes were all-electric in 2020, which is comparable to states like New York and Michigan that have cold climates. Homes in California predominantly use natural gas because of California's expansive natural gas infrastructure: in 2020, 72% of California households used natural gas for space heating, 79% for water heating, and 73% for cooking.

fuels used for selected end uses
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey

In 2020, almost two-thirds of U.S. households used electricity and one other type of energy. The most common fuel combination was natural gas and electricity, which were used exclusively (that is, with no use of fuel oil, propane, or wood) in 55% of U.S. households. Other combinations had far smaller percentages nationwide: 5% of homes used only electricity and propane, 3% used only wood and electricity, and 2% used only fuel oil and electricity. About 9% of U.S. homes used three or more types of energy in 2020. Our fuel-use categories do not include outdoor grills and fire pits.

We collected the 2020 RECS household energy-use data from 18,496 households, which is the largest responding sample in the program’s history. Respondents completed the survey using self-administered web or mail questionnaires during late 2020 and early 2021. For the first time in RECS program history, these data are available at the state level for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For certain data values, however, we have withheld the data for statistical reasons. We withhold data if the relative standard errors are greater than 50% or if the data values are based on a small sample size (fewer than 10 households).

Principal contributors: Kaili Diamond, Matthew Sanders, Carolyn Hronis