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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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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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
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More likely than the U.S. average to have:
  • Central air conditioning system 15+ years (2x)
  • Single-story homes (1.7x)
  • Slab foundation (8x)
  • Heating thermostats set at 70° or above (2x)
  • Conventional light bulbs (1.5x)
  • Electric hot water heaters (1.4x)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities by Measure for Mississippi


  • 52% use electric heat vs. 35% nationally
  • 42% of electric-heated homes have a heat pump > 5 years old
  • 41% keep their thermostat at 70° or warmer vs. 30% nationally


  • 17% use a central AC system 15+ years old vs. 8% nationally
  • 63% set the cooling temperature to 75° or cooler vs. 36% nationally


  • 31% use conventional bulbs vs. 21% nationally
  • 35% use a mix of conventional and efficient vs. 44% nationally

Home Size

  • 74% of homes are one-story vs. 45% nationally
  • Only 6% have basements vs. 36% nationally

Age Range

  • 44% of homes were built between 1990 and 2013 vs. 33% nationally


  • 5% of homes have pier and beam foundations vs. 1% nationally


  • 43% live in a home with two occupants vs. 36% nationally

Water Heater

  • 58% have an electric hot water heater vs. 42% nationally


  • 9% of homes have reflective roofs vs. 2% nationally


  • 80% cook using electric stoves vs. 62% nationally


  • 68% have a second refrigerator vs. 48% nationally


  • 33% have single-pane windows vs. 24% nationally


  • 93% use electric dryers vs. 80% nationally

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