WASHINGTON — For decades, heating and air conditioning accounted for over half of all residential energy consumption in the United States. However, new estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that 48 percent of energy consumption in American homes during 2009 was used for heating and cooling, down from 58 percent in 1993.

According to the EIA, the lower energy consumption is attributable in part to more efficient heating and cooling equipment, building practices that have resulted in better insulation and more efficient windows, and population shifts to areas with warmer climates.

Space heating accounted for 42 percent of household energy use in 2009, down from 53 percent in 1993. Air conditioning accounted for 6 percent, up slightly from 5 percent in 1993.

The RECS tables also break down household energy consumption by U.S. regions and states.

First conducted in 1978, the 13th RECS reflected energy consumption and expenditures during 2009. The 2009 survey collected data from about 12,000 households in housing units statistically selected to represent the 113.6 million housing units that are occupied as a primary residence. Data from the 2009 RECS are tabulated for the four Census regions, the nine Census divisions, and 16 states. These 16 states vary in their geography, climate, and population size.

For the complete 2009 RECS survey data, go to www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2009/.

Publication date: 1/28/2013