In the US, residential energy accounts for 22 percent of our total energy use and a considerable cost to our wallets and the environment. Over the last number of decades our homes have grown consistently bigger but also more efficient, leading to many changes in how much energy we use and how we use it.
Insulation and other efficiencies mean space heating now accounts for a smaller percentage of our home energy use. As technology continues to be increasingly embedded in our everyday lives however, appliances and electronics are a growing energy cost. Energy use per home has fallen consistently as developments such as energy efficient, multi-pane windows spread. The problem is that the number of homes continues to rise.
Whether because of environmentalism or concerns for energy security, energy and the means by which it is generated are big topics and a concern for many. Electricity, water heating, space heating and air conditioning are all major parts of our home energy use. Perhaps by understanding where energy is used in US homes today, we can get some indications of where we can reduce our use or seek alternative energy sources (such as solar or wind power for example).