Data out this week from EIA.gov’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey show a shift in home electricity use away from air conditioners and heaters to appliances and electronics. Makes sense if you think about about the alphabet soup of gadgets you have plugged in at home: iPhone, Cell Phone, PDA, DVRs, WiFi, MiFi, X-Box, Wii, not to mention the fancy new single serve coffee maker.
While energy used for space conditioning has declined, energy consumption for appliances and electronics continues to rise. Although some appliances that are subject to federal efficiency standards, such as refrigerators and clothes washers, have become more efficient, the increased number of devices that consume energy in homes has offset these efficiency gains. Non-weather related energy use for appliances, electronics, water heating, and lighting now accounts for 52% of total consumption, up from 42% in 1993. The majority of devices in the fastest growing category of residential end-uses are powered by electricity, increasing the total amount of primary energy needed to meet residential electricity demand.
Trends not only show a shift in what people are using electricity for, there is also an increase in the total amount electricity being consumer per household.
The average U.S. household consumed 11,320 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity in 2009, of which the largest portion (7,526 kWh) was for appliances, electronics, lighting, and miscellaneous uses. On average, residents living in homes constructed in the 1980s consumed 77 million Btu of total energy at home. By comparison, those living in newer homes, built from 2000 to 2009, consumed 92 million Btu per household, which is 19% more.