Household Energy Consumption

In 2012, United States households accounted for 21% of total primary energy consumption and about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Residential energy use is a measure of how much energy (electric, gas, oil, renewable, or other) is used to heat and run residential buildings and associated activities (Partnership for Sustainable Communities). Energy is life and the cost of energy is a significant contributor to the quality of life in communities. These metrics are based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey, hereafter known as RECS, and the 2010 US Census data.

Housing characteristics are an important roadmap to sustainability in the residential sector. Types of housing and age of housing affect the overall energy cost which could lead to higher energy bills. Historic and older homes were built with different techniques than modern homes. One important difference between older and modern homes is the way they regulate temperature and moisture. This metric examines the residential consumption per capita, the relationship between the average price of energy in states and total consumption, and the mixture of the types of energy used. This is relevant because it enables us to think about the drivers of household energy consumption and understand how they are working.

Metrics and Data Sources:


Metric Name Definition Data Source
Housing Characteristics The age of housing and type of housing American Community Survey (2010)
Residential Energy Consumption per Capita The amount of BTUs consumed by individuals in the state Household Energy Consumption Survey (2014)



State Housing Characteristics Residential Energy Consumption per Capita Average Score Rank
Illinois 3 5 4 3
Indiana 7 8 7.5 9
Iowa 7 6 6.5 5
Kentucky 2 9 5.5 5
Michigan 10 4 7 5
Minnesota 4 3 4.5 4
Ohio 9 7 8 10
Washington 1 1 1 1
West Virginia 3 10 6.5 8
Wisconsin 3 2 2.5 2


Metric Findings:

  • Indiana ranked towards the bottom on both metrics with an average score of 7.5. This suggests that Indiana should focus on creating policies and programs that help residents to conserve energy and make it easier for individuals to purchase energy efficient appliances. They can do this by expanding Indianapolis’ Better Building program statewide.

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