Per-household energy has decreased, despite the growing size of homes, according to an analysis of the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This is in part due to an increase in energy efficiency in home building and appliances, which reduced the need for energy intensity. With decreased dependency, it has been able to offset the more than 70% of the growth the residential construction sector has seen.
The study was done between 1980 and 2009, and is the most recent time frame. After adjusting for the effects of the other factors, 2009 energy intensity declined (improved) by about 37% compared with the level in 1980, meaning that without this change, households would have required another 3.6 quads of delivered energy in 2009. The effects of reduced energy intensity are significantly greater when considered in terms of primary energy use, which takes into account that, on average, nearly three units of energy from primary fuels such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear fuel are used to generate one unit of electricity, which is a major part of energy use in households. Read More