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Some housing units used more than one fuel for secondary space heating (Figure 2.15). In 1978, wood was the most commonly used secondary heating fuel. By 1997, electricity had caught up to it. Meanwhile, the other measurable secondary heating fuels, natural gas, fuel oil/kerosene, and LPG, remained at lower levels throughout the period.
That overall increase was the result of a very large increase in the use of central air-conditioning systems, an increase that more than offset a decline in the use of window/wall units. In 1978, the use of window/wall units exceeded the use of central systems by 10 percentage points (33 percent compared with 23 percent). By 1987, the percentages were about equal, and by 1997, there were nearly twice as many housing units using central systems as window/wall units (47 percent compared with 26 percent).
End Uses of Electricity
Air-conditioning, space heating, and water heating each consume approximately oneninth.
Energy serves a wide range of household needs--space heating and cooling, water heating, refrigerators, lighting, and the operation of a variety of appliances for entertainment, health, and comfort. For 19 years, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey has estimated the contribution of each of those end uses to total energy consumption. The share and relative ranking of each end use represent how the total consumption of electricity or natural gas is distributed over the end uses. The other commonly used household energy sources (fuel oil, LPG, and kerosene) are used mostly for space heating, water heating, and cooking.
No single appliance dominates the use of electricity. Refrigerators consume the most electricity (13 percent of the total), followed by lighting (9 percent), clothes dryers (6 percent), freezers (4 percent), color TVS (3 percent), and cooking (3 percent).
The many other electrical appliances are grouped together and their total consumption is shown as "All Others" (Figure 3.1). Those include some appliances that are found in almost all homes but that use small amounts of electricity, such as VCRs, answering machines, cordless telephones, and other appliances that use large amounts of electricity but are not found in many homes, such as swimming pool pumps and large heated aquariums.
Source: Energy Information Administration, Forms EIA-457A, B, C, E, and H of the 1997 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.
Energy Information Administration
Electricity Consumption for 1997
(billion End Use/Appliance
(millions) (million) unit household kWh) Percent Total Households
10,215 1,036.7 100.0
Other Appliances (total of list below)
4,470 453.6 43.8 Clothes Dryer .
33.7 36.9 1,013 1,110 37.4
3.6 Color TV
2.8 Furnace Fan.
2.0 Microwave Oven
1.1 Personal Computer
35.6 43.0 d262
1.1 Waterbed Heater
1.0 VCR .......
0.9 Clothes Washer
0.8 Ceiling Fan ..
61.7 155.6 ®50
0.8 Pool/Hot Tub/Spa Heater
0.6 Stereo ..
0.5 Swimming Pool Pump
0.4 Laser printer ...
0.3 Large, Heated Aquarium
0.2 Answering Machine
0.2 Battery Charger
0.2 Cordless Telephone
0.2 Fax machine
0.1 Well Pump
15.4 a1993 Residential Energy Consumption Survey. "Energy Use of Televisions and Videocassette Recorders in the U.S., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1999. See Appendix C, “End-Use Estimation Methodology" for a definition of the households using electricity for cooking. 'Electricity Consumption by Small End Uses in Residential Buildings, Arthur D. Little, Inc, 1998. Energy Data Sourcebook for the U.S. Residential Sector, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1997. 'Does not include energy used to heat water coming into the washer.
Notes: •'Residual" includes appliances not listed, such as dehumidifiers, evaporative coolers, crankcase heaters, automatic drip coffee makers, irons, air cleaners, and a myriad of other small electrical appliances. "Residuals also includes errors that may be present in estimates of annual consumption. •Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding. This table does not reflect the interactive effects of appliance usage, especially when mixing the estimates from RECS with those from outside sources. For example, for a home with an electric oven, range, and a microwave, the use of the microwave may not add 132 kWh to the cooking consumption. For more discussion of this problem, see Appendix C, “End-Use Estimation Methodology."
Sources: Energy Information Administration, Office of Energy Markets and End Use, Forms EIA-457A-C, E, and H of the 1997 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), RECS Public-Use Data Files; American Electric Power Service Corporation, and Southern California Edison.
Energy Information Administration