WASHINGTON — United States consumers spent 2.7 percent of their household income on home energy bills last year, which was the lowest percentage in 10 years, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) analysis. Also, aggregate home energy expenditures by U.S. households fell $12 billion in 2012 from the 2011 level. Warmer weather contributed to lower energy consumption in 2012, and because household energy expenditures reflect both prices and consumption, this resulted in lower household energy expenditures.

On average, households spent $1,945 on heating, cooling, appliances, electronics, and lighting in 2012. This total includes home use of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, wood, and coal, but excludes fuels used for transportation. It also excludes other household utilities such as water and telephone services. Using EIA projections for 2012 based on household data from the U.S. Census Bureau through 2010, $1,945 is the lowest level since 2002.

The percentage of household income spent on home energy bills peaked at 4.3 percent in 1982 and steadily declined until it reached its lowest level since 1973 — 2.4 percent in 1999.

Publication date: 4/29/2013