In homes built before 1970, natural gas was far and away the predominant heating fuel in new homes (installed in nearly 60% of them). Since then, however, new homes are as likely to be heated via electricity (44%) as natural gas (43%). The remaining homes rely on heating sources such as fuel oil (especially in the Northeast), propane, wood, or kerosene.
Image Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey.
Natural gas is still the key heating fuel across the entire US housing stock (a combined 50% of existing homes and new homes use it to keep warm). But what explains the increasing popularity of electric heating systems in new homes? The EIA report suggests that part of the trend can be traced to a general population shift toward warmer and drier climates such as the South, where electricity is the historically prevalent heating fuel.
You can learn more about trends in natural gas and electricity usage in American homes, from the US Energy Information Administration’s recently released Residential Energy Consumption Survey.