Americans have always liked big things, from hamburgers to skyscrapers and everything in between. That includes the appliances in their homes. But American households are also getting smarter about their energy use.
According to recent data provided by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the federal authority for gathering energy-related data in the United States, the types and number of electricity consuming devices used in the American home is changing.
Data released from the 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey shows usage patterns of traditional, and not so traditional, devices for the year. Compared to the same data from 2015, the survey shows changes in how homes used, turned on and off, powered and controlled their devices.
Not surprisingly, the survey shows that American households like their devices on the big side. For example, the number of homes with larger televisions continues to increase, with 72% of households reporting that their most-used television was a 40-inch screen or greater, a big increase from the 58% who said the same thing in 2015.
Americans also like more of their devices. For example, consider the refrigerator. Like many things in the American household, one is not enough. The survey showed that the percentage of households with more than one refrigerator grew from 30% in 2015 to 34% in 2020.
Dishwashers also factor heavily into the electricity consumption in the American household. According to the EIA, the percentage of households using a dishwasher four or more times per week increased from 21% in 2015 to 26% in 2020. This may be due in large part to American households spending more time at home because of the pandemic.
The findings were not all about bigger and more devices. In fact, despite their hearty appetite for all things electric, Americans are getting smarter and more efficient about their energy use. For example, the EIA reports that although people spent more time at home, residential energy use declined by 4% in 2020 from the previous year.
Perhaps some of those savings come for the use of energy-efficient lighting. The survey found that the percentage of homes using all or mostly LED bulbs indoors rose from 4% to 47% between 2015 and 2020. The survey also found that more than 60% of households had an LED television as their most-used TV, up from one-third in 2015.
American also like to control their devices. According to the survey, about 40 million households had smart speakers in 2020, nearly 18 million of which were used to control at least one setting in the home, such as lighting, temperature or security.
Lastly, electric vehicles also made their appearance in the survey. More than three-quarters of electric vehicle owners surveyed reported that they charged their electric vehicle at their homes.