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New Census Data on Home Heating

46.2 percent of the hundred and thirty million occupied households in the country heated their homes in 2022 with natural gas utility service. 41.3 percent heated their homes with electric utility service.

This data just came in late last week from the U.S. Census. It also broke out owner-occupied and renter-occupied homes.

Owned homes were 50.9 percent gas heated versus 34.7 percent electric heated. While rented homes were 37.5 percent gas heated versus 53.7 percent electric heated.

Electric heating was much less prevalent a dozen years ago. Across all occupied households in the country, as much as 49.5 percent heated their homes in 2010 with gas service and just 35.4 percent heated with electric service.

In 2010, owned homes were 53 percent gas heated versus 29.8 percent electric heated. While rented homes were 42.9 percent gas heated versus 46.1 percent electric heated.

Though the data show that the decreasing share of gas heating and increasing share of electric heating was due to substantial population growth in the south, where electric heating is most common, rather than household switching from gas to electric heating.

Let us look at Florida for example. The Sunshine State had about seven million occupied households in 2010. It had nearly nine million in 2022. That’s nearly two million more households in Florida predominantly heating with electric service.

Only 4.6 percent of Florida households, owned and rented, heated with gas in 2010 versus 92.3 percent heated by electric. This split wasn’t much different in 2022. 5.4 percent were gas heated and 90.2 percent were electric heated.

Now let us look at New York. The Empire State had about seven million households in 2010 as did Florida. It had seven and three quarters million in 2022. The increase in the number of households was about six hundred thousand as opposed to nearly two million in Florida.

Only 9.4 percent of New York households, owned and rented, heated with electric in 2010 versus 55 percent heated by gas. 28.7 percent heated with fuel oil. This split wasn’t much different in 2022. 15.3 percent were electric heated, and 58.4 percent were gas heated.

Fuel oil heating’s share fell to 16.5 percent. There was evidently switching from fuel oil heating to both electric heating and gas heating.

And gas heating’s share in New York is significantly greater now than when Avatar was in theaters a dozen years ago. This trend ought to give pause to those who aspire to the elimination of natural gas usage in homes.