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Energy Costs

Expenditures by U.S. Census Division, 1997

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38

New England

48 79

33
74

120 Middle Atlantic

28 28

33
60

61 East North Central 51

39
58

76 West North Central 73 40

49
40

67 South Atlantic

28 39

47
53

63 East South Central 21 33

47
53

43 West South Central 44 47

44

73 101 Mountain 47

65 Pacific

16 24

37
45

86 Source: Energy Information Administration; 1997 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.

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A percentile can be defined as follows: given a set of numbers, a p-th percentile is a value where p percent of the number in the set are smaller than or equal to the value and (100-p) percent of the number in the set are larger than or equal to the value. In 1997, for example, 50 percent of the households in the country spent $1,247 or less for energy used in the home and 50 percent spent $1,247 or more (See Table 3.3). Hence, $1,247 was the 50th percentile (or median). Similarly, the 25th percentile was $885 and the 75th percentile was $1,676. The spread between the 25th and 75th percentiles is one measure of the variability of energy expenditures.

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Total expenditures include the expenditures for electricity, natural gas, LPG, fuel oil, and kerosene used in the home. They exclude the cost of any wood or coal that was burned in the home, as well as the cost of motor gasoline used in automobiles or in other pieces of machinery that run on gasoline.

A review of the percentiles for each of the Census divisions shows that there are substantial differences among the divisions in their median expenditures (Figure 3.2 and Table 3.3). At the high end, the median for the New England Census Division is $1,569, and at the low end, the median for the Pacific Census Division is $892. The amount of variation in expenditures within Census divisions is even larger. In other words, the difference between the 10th and 90th percentiles within each division exceeds the difference between the median for the New England Census Division and the median for the Pacific Census Division. The "within” division differences can be partially explained by characteristics of the housing unit and households. Two of these are the size of the housing unit and the income of the household.

Table 3.3. Annual Energy Expenditures Percentiles by U.S. Census Division, 1997

This section gives percentiles for total energy expenditures. For households that do not pay for their energy directly (for example, when the rent includes the cost of electricity or other fuels), the cost of those fuels is estimated. Households where the expenditures were estimates are included in the process of estimating the percentiles.

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New England

818 1,160 1,569 2,056 2,596 Middle Atlantic

822 1,071 1,512 2,062 2,618 East North Central 696 1,003 1,352 1,748 2,149 West North Central 769 1.002 1,291 1,639 1,980 South Atlantic

640 915 1,277 1,662 2,119 West South Central 614 890 1,152 1,503 1,849 East South Central 672 910 1,290 1,719 2,246 Mountain

550 720 1,006 1,286 1,628 Pacific

412 616 892 1,261 1,728 Source: Energy Information Administration; 1997 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.

Energy Information Administration

Division, 1997

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are

When percentiles

calculated for energy The overlap is even more pronounced when households are expenditures by size of home, they show the expected grouped by income (Figure 3.4 and Table 3.5). For example, trend from lower expenditures in smaller homes to the 75th percentile of energy expenditures for households higher expenditures in larger homes (Figure 3.3 and with incomes of less than $10,000 ($1,280) is approximately Table 3.4). They also show that there is an overlap in equal to the 25th percentile for households with incomes of the energy expenditures: the 90th percentile for total $75,000 or more ($1,272). The fact that the estimated

$ energy expenditures in homes with one to three rooms percentiles do not always increase as the income increases is ($1,143) is approximately equal to the 10th percentile the result of both the large overlap and the sampling error of in homes with eight or more rooms ($1,138).

the estimates.

Energy Information Administration

Table 3.4. Annual Energy Expenditures Percentiles by Table 3.5. Annual Energy Expenditures Percentiles by Number of Rooms, 1997

Household Income, 1997

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Figure 3.3. Annual Energy Expenditures Percentiles by Number of Rooms,
1997

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Source: Energy Information Administration; 1997 Residential Energy Consumption
Survey.

Energy Information Administration

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Residential transportation represents almost one-half of total transportation energy. The 102 million U.S. households and 169 million regular drivers own or had regular use of 168 million vehicles, an average of 1.7 vehicles per household. That average was up slightly from an average of 1.6 vehicles per household in 1993.

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