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Metric Conversion Factors

Data in the Energy Information Administration publications are expressed in units, such as British thermal units, barrels, cubic feet, and short tons, that historically have been used in the United States. However, because U.S. activities involve foreign nations, most of which use metric units of measure, the United States is committed to making the transition to the metric system. The metric conversion factors presented in TableGl can be used to calculate the metric-unit equivalents of values expressed in U.S. units. For example, 500 short tons are the equivalent of 453.6 metric tons (500 short tons x 0.9071847 metric tons/short tons=453.6 metric tons).

Table G1. Metric Conversion Factors
Type of Unit

U.S. Unit

Conversion Factor

Metric Unit



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Short Tons

X 0.907 1847

- Metric Tons (t) Short Tons Uranium Oxide (U20) X 0.769

Metric Tons Uranium (U) Short Tons Uranium Fluoride (UF) X 0.613

= Metric Tons Uranium (U) Long Tons

X 1.016

= Metric Tons(t) Pounds(lb)

X 0.453 592 37"

= Kilograms(kg)
Pounds Uranium Oxide(lb 4,02) X 0.384 6456

Kilograms (kg)
Ounces, Avoirdupois(oz)

X 28. 349 52

Barrels of Oil(bbl)

X 0.158 987 3

= Cubic Meters (mo) Cubic Yards(yd)

X 0.765 555

= Cubic Meters (mo) Cubic Feet(ft")

X 0.028 316 85

= Cubic Meters (mo) U.S. Gallons(gal)

X 3.785 412

= Liter (L) Ounces, Fluid(fl oz)

X 29.573 53

= Milliliters (ml) Cubic Inches(in)

X 16.387 06

= Milliliters (ml) Miles (mi)

X 1,609 344

= Kilometers (km) Yards (yd)

X 0.914 4"

= Meters (m) Feet (ft)

X 0.304 8°

= Meters (m) Inches (in)

X 2.54*

= Centimeters (cm) Acres

X 0.404 69

= Hectares (ha) Square Miles (mi?)

X 2,589 988

Square Kilometers (km2) Square Yards (yd)

X 0.836 127 4

= Square Meters (m2) Square Feet (ft)

X 0.092 903 04"

Square Meters (m)
Square Inches (in?)

X 6.4561 6

= Square Centimeters (cm2) Degrees Fahrenheit (°F)

X 5/9 (after subtracting 32)* = Degrees Celsius (c)
British thermal units (Btu)

X 1,055.056

= Joules (J) Calories (cal)

х 4.186 8

= Joules (J)
Kilowatthours (kWh)


= Megajoules (MJ)


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*Exact Conversion.
Calculated by the Energy Information Administration.
'To convert degrees Celsius (°C) to degrees Fahrenheit (°F), multiply by 9/5, then add 32.
Sources: General Services Administration, Federal Standard 376B, Preferred Metric Units for General Use by the Federal
Government (Washington, DC, January 27, 1993), pp. 9-11, 13, and 16. National Institute of Standards and Technology,
Special Publications 330, 811, and 814. American National Standards Institute/Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers, ANSIEEE Std.268-1982, pp 28 and 29. Energy Information Administration/Monthly Energy Review August 1993,
Appendix B, pp 161.

Energy Information Administration


Account Classification: The method in which suppliers of electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil classify and bill their customers. Commonly used account classifications are "Commercial," "Industrial," and "Residential." Suppliers' definitions of these terms vary from supplier to supplier and from the definitions used in RECS. In addition, the same customer may be classified differently by each of its energy suppliers.

Adequacy of Insulation: The respondent's perception of the adequacy of the housing unit's insulation.

Aggregate Ratio: The ratio of two population aggregates (totals). For example, the aggregate floorspace per household is the ratio of the total floorspace in each category to the total number of households in the category.

Air-Conditioning: One of the five major end-use categories in this report. Cooling and dehumidifying the air in a building by a refrigeration unit driven by electricity or natural gas. This definition excludes fans, blowers, or evaporative cooling systems (swamp coolers) that are not connected to a refrigeration unit. (See End Use and Refrigeration Unit.)


Air-Conditioning Equipment: Either a central system or window or wall units that cool the air in a housing unit by a refrigeration unit driven by electricity or natural gas. This definition excludes fans, blowers, or evaporative cooling systems (swamp coolers) that are not connected to a refrigeration unit. Air-conditioning units that were not in working condition or were not used are included if they are in place in the housing unit. If the household did not use its airconditioning equipment during the summer of 1997, consumption and expenditures data were not imputed for airconditioning. (See Room- Air Conditioner.)

Appliance Combination: Refers to the stub on the appliance end-use consumption table. Households are characterized as using or not using a particular combination of appliances.

Appliance Efficiency Standards: The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 established minimum efficiency standards for major home appliances, including furnaces, central and room air-conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, and heat pumps. Most of the standards were effective in 1990. The standards for clothes washers, dishwashers, and ranges were effective in 1988 because they required only minor changes in product design, such as eliminating pilot lights and requiring cold water rinse options. The standards for central air-conditioners and furnaces were effective in 1992. The standards for refrigerators were effective in 1993; virtually no refrigerator models on the market in 1990 met the 1993 standards.

Appliances: One of the five major end-use categories in this report. This definition includes appliances and lights used in the home during the year, including those loaned to the householder for regular use. Appliances not currently being used are not counted unless they are temporarily out of working order and a repair person has been called or the appliance has been taken to a repair shop. Refrigerators are a separate end use. (See End Use.)

Authorization Form: The one-page form signed by respondents that gives their energy suppliers permission to release information about the energy used during a specified reporting period. The form contains the name of each energy supplier.

Automatic Set-Back or Clock Thermostat: A thermostat that can be set to turn the heating/cooling system off and on at predetermined times.

Average: The simple arithmetic average for a population; that is, the sum of all the values in a population divided by the size of the population. Population means are estimated by computing the weighted sum of the sample values, then dividing by the sum of the sample weights. (See Weight.)

Energy Information Administration

Average Age of Appliances: Respondents were provided five categories to determine the age of selected appliances (central and room air-conditioners, first and second refrigerators, freezers, water heaters and their main heating system). The midpoint of each category was used to estimate an average age of the appliances. The midpoints for each age category were as follows:

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Backup Fuel: In a central heat pump system the fuel used in the furnace when the outdoor temperature drops below

a the level that is feasible to operate a heat pump. (See Heat Pump).

Basement: An enclosed space in which a person can walk upright under all or part of the building.

Bathroom: A full bathroom contains a sink with running water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower. A half bathroom contains a toilet or bathtub or shower.


Bedroom: Room intended for sleeping, even if not presently used for sleeping. Number of bedrooms are those that would be listed as descriptive of the apartment or house if it were on the market for sale or rent. A one-room efficiency or studio apartment has no bedrooms.

Billing Period: The time between meter readings or fuel deliveries. It does not refer to the time when the bill was sent or when the payment was to have been received. In some cases, the billing period is the same as the billing cycle that corresponds closely (within several days) to meter-reading dates. For fuel oil and LPG, the billing period is the number of days between fuel deliveries.

Boiler: A type of space-heating equipment consisting of a vessel or tank where heat produced from the combustion of such fuels as natural gas, fuel oil, or coal is used to generate hot water or steam.

Btu (British thermal unit): A Btu is defined as the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, at normal atmospheric pressure. Energy consumption is expressed in Btu in this report to allow for consumption comparisons among fuels that are measured in different units. (See Metric Conversion Factors.)

Btu Conversion Factors: The Btu conversion factors used in this report are as follows:

Btu equivalent

Electricity (site)


kilowatthour Electricity (primary)


kilowatthour Natural gas


cubic foot Fuel Oil No.1


gallon Kerosene


gallon Fuel Oil No.2


gallon LPG (propane)




Average energy input of the generation process for fossil fuel utility plants in the United States for 1993. See Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, April 1995.

Energy Information Administration

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