Houses are larger than they used to be and this is a long-term problem for energy consumption, says the Energy Information Administration in a new report. Homes built in the 1970s and 1980s averaged less than 1,800 square feet. Homes built in the 2000s averaged 2,465 square feet.
"Square footage typically stays fixed over the life of a home and it is a characteristic that is expensive, even impractical to alter to reduce energy consumption," notes the EIA in its report.
Even worse for energy consumption are the high ceilings in many newly built homes. The percentage of new homes with ceilings higher than the traditional 8 feet grew from 17 percent in the 1970s to the 52 percent majority in the 2000s.
Source: Energy Information Administration, The Impact of Increasing Home Size on Energy Demand