The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Residential Energy Consumption Survey revealed which states use the most site energy – that is, the amount of energy that enters a home.
What’s site energy?
Site energy as defined by the EIA includes electricity from the grid, electricity from onsite solar panels, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil. With respect to electricity, site energy doesn’t account for the losses associated with the conversion of primary fuels to electricity or the electrical losses in the transmission and distribution system.
Site energy consumption is a combination of the energy consumption from all energy end uses in a home, including seasonal end uses such as space heating and cooling, and non-seasonal end uses such as cooking and consumer electronics.
Consumption in individual households can vary widely depending on the efficiency of the heating and cooling equipment.
Who’s using the most site energy?
The survey collected energy-use data for 18,496 households, the largest sample in the program’s history. The EIA found that households in colder climates, where space heating equipment is used more intensely, tend to consume more site energy than households in warmer parts of the US.
Of the 15 states with average annual temperatures above the national average – 59.4F – the average households in every state except Oklahoma used less energy than the national average.
Hawaii was the warmest state, using an average of 30.3 MMBtu per household, when the survey was released in 2020. Only 6% of homes in Hawaii were heated, and just 57% of households used air-conditioning (AC) equipment.
Alaska was the coldest state, using an average of 125.1 MMBtu per household in 2020. In Alaska, 99% of homes used space-heating equipment, while only 7% of homes used AC equipment.
Although site energy consumption is determined by many factors, including varying household behaviors, building construction, and heating and cooling equipment efficiency, the way that space heating and cooling is used in the US leads to a correlation between average site energy consumption and average temperature.
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