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:
  • Secondary freezers (2x)
  • Four-story homes (1.5x)
  • Electric baseboard heating (4.5x)
  • Heating thermostats set at 65° or cooler (1.7x)
  • Minimal entertainment usage (2x)
  • Homes without a dryer (2.9x)
Energy Efficiency Opportunities by Measure for Montana


  • The percentage of homeowners using electric is about the national average
  • 62% of homeowners use natural gas to heat their homes compared to the 55% nationally
  • 3% heat their homes with oil vs. 10% nationally


  • 27% use conventional bulbs vs. 21% national average
  • 39% use efficient vs. 35% nationally
  • 33% use a mix vs. 44% nationally


  • Montanans tend to use less energy for entertainment, with 60% claiming minimal entertainment use, 2x the national average


  • 9% have extra-thick attic insulation, as compared to the 3% nationally


  • 27% of homes have no air conditioning vs. 11% nationally

Age Range

  • 20% of homes were built before 1940 vs. 14% nationally

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