Homes More Energy Efficient–But Bigger

November 10, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

residential soloar energy manageStudies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Residential Energy Consumption Survey point to changes in how homes use energy, according to Pew Research.

Preliminary findings are that the average U.S. home used 101,800 Btu in 2012, which was 31 percent less than in 1970. However, use is on the upswing as time passes: The average single family home in the United States last year was 2,657 square feet, which was 57 percent larger than four decades earlier. The biggest gain was in the northeast, which rose 64 percent. The bottom line, according to the study, is that the energy intensity of homes is about where it was 40 years ago. At the same time, less energy is devoted to living space, while more is being used by appliances, electronics and lighting.

The sources of energy for the residential market are changing over time. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association found that 1393 MW of photovoltaics were added during the second quarter of the year. The residential sector added 473 MW, which was a 70 percent year-over-year increase.

 

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