U.S. Energy Efficiency

What 5 million data points say about energy efficiency potential

Energy efficiency is the country's cheapest power source and the secret to unlocking its potential isn't a new fracking fluid or a new nuclear reactor design. The key is data. A new era of data transparency and quantification is turning energy efficiency from a guesstimate into a reliable and deployable resource that our country can count on. This page is a small peek into that brave new world that brings together data on housing structures, heating and cooling, appliances, and energy habits from more than 120,000 U.S. households. The data illuminates clear opportunities for saving energy and money.

National Highlights

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Lighting

North and South Dakotans report using more conventional light bulbs than any other state, at 1.5 times the national average. Vermonters, by contrast, report using efficient bulbs at the highest rate, 1.8 times the national average.

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Appliances

States with the most stand-alone freezers in addition to a primary fridge and freezer? Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, all in excess of 2x the national average.

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Heating Set Point

West Virginians like it warmer in the winter. They set their thermostats higher than most other states. Rhode Islanders keep their homes the coolest in winter.

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Cooling Set Point

Alabamans set their thermostats cooler than any other state in the summer. Others who keep their AC chillier than average include residents of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

State by State

Potential savings per household
Medium High Very High

Nebraska

More likely than the U.S. average to have:
  • Electric stoves (1.2x)
  • Gas heat (1.4x), especially with furnaces 15+ years (2.2x)
  • Heating set to 70° or above (1.4x)
  • Gas hot water heater (1.3x)
  • Central air conditioning (1.2x) using systems 15+ years (2x)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities by Measure for Nebraska

Cooling

  • 16% report having central air conditioning that is 15 years or older vs. 8% nationally
  • 53% report setting their thermostat to 76° or cooler vs. 42% national average

Water Heater

  • 67% report using a standard gas electric water heater vs. 49% nationally

Heating

  • 41% report setting their thermostat to 70° or warmer vs. 30% nationally

Refrigerator

  • 59% have a second refrigerator or freezer compared with 48% nationally

Age Range

  • 25% of homes were built in 1939 or earlier vs. 14% nationally

Occupancy

  • 25% of homes have four occupants vs. 20% nationally

Foundation

  • 91% of homes have basements vs. 36% nationally

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