U.S. Households Have Less TVs


eia-smallThere’s been a decrease in the number of televisions in the average U.S. household.

That finding is based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Today in Energy brief, which looked to an energy consumption survey to determine just how many TVs were used in American homes in the last few years.

Results from the administration’s most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) show that an average of 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015.

This is down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009.

At the same time, the number of homes with three or more televisions declined from the previous survey conducted in 2009; a larger share of households reported not using a television at all.

Televisions and peripheral equipment such as cable boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs), and video game consoles account for about 6% of all electricity consumption in U.S. homes.



Data from the 2015 RECS highlight the variability and trends in energy use across the nation’s more than 118 million single-family homes, apartments, and mobile homes.

Entertainment and information devices, in particular, vary by age: To little surprise, younger households tend to have a lower concentration of televisions per person and a higher concentration of portable devices such as laptops and smart phones. Older households are more likely to have higher concentrations of desktop computers.


EIA’s 2015 RECS Household Survey captured more than 200 energy-related items from more than 5,600 households. Several questions remained similar to those in previous surveys, allowing time-series analysis using RECS data back to the late 1970s. However, as energy use in households changes, EIA adds or revises questions. The 2015 survey was the first to include questions about tablets, smart thermostats, and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.