As U.S. dependence on gas decreases, it becomes more popular as a heating fuel

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Usage of natural and bottled gas for heating was decreasing until 2009, after which it started to increase again. This is according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in its Survey of Construction.

fuel_m_by_year_stacked

As we can see, the vast majority of new homes are heated with gas or electricity. The percentage of gas-heated homes steadily decreased during the previous decade, falling from three-quarters to just slightly above half. After reaching its lowest level in 2010, it began to rise again, reflecting the falling natural gas prices. As of writing, the percentage has almost reached 65 percent.

Who are the primary users of gas heating? To answer this question, let’s see how the popularity of gas-heated houses depends on different factors, such as the size of a house and its location.

fuel_m_p_by_factors

We see that gas heating is especially popular among larger houses, with the largest ones (five bedrooms or more) also having the largest percentage: 75 percent. The same holds true for the number of stories — single-floor houses are significantly more likely to be heated by other sources, like electricity. Additionally, there is a sharp difference between houses in metropolitan areas and outside of them.

To further explore how gas consumption depends on location, let’s take a look at the map.

fuel_m_by_div

We see that gas-heated homes are significantly less popular in the East South Central division — only 26 percent of homes here are heated this way. It is followed by the South Atlantic and West South Central states with 30 and 53 percent respectively. All other divisions have roughly the same numbers, from 78 to 88 percent.

Given that there’s clearly still a potential for growth in some states, we can expect a further increase in the popularity of gas heating in the coming years.

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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