Frequently Asked Questions

How is electricity used in U.S. homes?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates in the Annual Energy Outlook 2017 that about 1,410 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity were used by the residential sector in the United States in 2016.

Estimated U.S. residential sector electricity consumption by end use, 2016

End use

Billion kWh
Share of total
Space cooling   247
18%
Water heating   134   9%
Lighting   129   9%
Refrigeration   103   7%
Space heating     96   7%
Televisions and related equipment1     83   6%
Clothes dryers     61   4%
Furnace fans and boiler circulation pumps     32   2%
Computers and related equipment2     32   2%
Cooking     32   2%
Dishwashers     28   2%
Freezers     22   2%
Clothes washers3      8   1%
Other uses4   405
29%
Total consumption 1,410  

1 Includes televisions, set-top boxes, home theater systems, DVD players, and video game consoles.
2 Includes desktop and laptop computers, monitors, and networking equipment.
3 Does not include water heating.
4 Includes small electric devices, heating elements, exterior lights, outdoor grills, pool and spa heaters, backup electricity generators, and motors not listed above. Does not include electric vehicle charging.

Learn more:
Annual Energy Outlook, Reference case, Table 4: Residential sector key indicators and consumption
Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)

Last updated: February 28, 2017


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