How much energy does your household use, and what kind? You might be surprised how much the answers depend on where you live. The map at right is part of a series covering the nine U.S. Census divisions. It displays data collected in the 2005 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). This survey, the twelfth since 1978, was conducted by the National Energy Information Center to investigate the use of energy in residential housing units in the United States.
The map shows how much natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, and motor gasoline each state consumes. You can get a sense of per capita use by noting the color of the state; the darker the state, the higher its population density. The map also shows average rainfall and gives an idea of how often households are likely to use energy to heat or cool their homes. Blue squares show the level of demand for air conditioning. Red squares show chilly weather when energy is used for heating.
EXTENT OF THE SURVEY
The 2005 survey collected data from 4,382 households in housing units statistically selected to represent the 111.1 million housing units in the United States. The map shown here uses only some of the information collected; RECS also documented other energy-related data such as the type of housing unit surveyed, who lived there, what types of fuels they used, and what appliances they owned. The RECS also provides energy consumption and expenditures data for natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and kerosene.
HOW RECS COLLECTS DATA
RECS data come from three sources:
45-minute in-person interviews with householders of sampled housing units.
Answers provided by rental agents about sampled rental units where energy costs were included in the rent. This information was collected through mail questionnaires, in-person interviews, and telephone interviews.
Mail questionnaires from energy suppliers who provide actual energy consumption and expenditure data for the sampled housing unit.