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Residential Energy Consumption Quadruples

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In the previous post I reported that the number of homes in the United States has grown faster than the population has, and that the average size of the newly constructed home has increased. I summarized by suggesting that more homes per person and bigger homes = more resources used, more energy used, more greenhouse gas emitted, more non-native species planted, and more stormwater runoff.

Source: Exhibit 2-12, Our Built and Natural Environments, Environmental Protection Agency, June, 2013.

Source: Exhibit 2-12, Our Built and Natural Environments, Environmental Protection Agency, June, 2013.

I thought I’d share a chart just to show I wasn’t blowing smoke in saying that. It shows the amount of residential energy consumption from fossil fuel in the United States from 1949 to 2010. The graph shows that the amount of energy consumed in homes has grown from just over 5,000 trillion Btu to almost 23,500 trillion Btu. It has quadrupled.

What about Missouri? When I reviewed energy consumption in Missouri, my data only went back to 1960. It showed that between 1960 and 2010, residential energy consumption in homes grew from about 240 trillion Btu to about 550 trillion Btu, a 129% increase. Population grew from 4,319,813 in 1960 to 5,988,927 in 2010, an increase of 39%.

More homes per person and bigger homes = more resources used, more energy used, more greenhouse gas emitted, more non-native species planted, and more stormwater runoff. No kidding!

Sources:

For the U.S. residential energy consumption chart: Exhibit 2012: Energy Use from Fossil Fuels for Residential Buildings, 1949-2010, Our Built and Natural Environments:
A Technical Review of the Interactions Among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality, Second Edition,
Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/built.htm.

For energy use in Missouri, Residential Energy Consumption by Sector, a previous post in this blog.

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