Residential and Commercial (R&C) Sectors
The residential and commercial sectors of energy use are dominated by the need for electricity, space heating and cooling, and nonindustrial uses. A concern is that household efficiencies in energy use have slowed in improvements. Housing units, of which there are over 135 million in the United States, are being built larger and larger, so some of the efficiency that could be counted as a total fuel savings per household has been lost due to a larger heating and cooling volume. The use of the voluntary certification system LEED is recommended and can be incorporated into new legislation on the federal, state, and municipal level. Commercial energy use is similar to that of residential, and new buildings can be LEED certified if the application of sustainable practices is achieved.
The residential and commercial sectors are discussed together here because their uses are similar: needs for electricity, space heating and cooling, and nonindustrial level of mechanization and energy requirements. The residentia sector comprises 23% and commercial sector 19% of the energy market (Fig. 4.1). They are separately smaller than either transportation or industrial energy use. Approximately 75% of electricity use goes to R&C (Fig. 4.2). Note that the following discussion does not charge R&C for electrical system losses from thermodynamic limitations or transmission losses. Non-electricity consumption by R&C is mainly in the form of natural gas, with oil and coal being used locally and regionally to a much smaller extent.
KeywordsResidential Commercial Space heating Cooling/air conditioning Electricity Lighting LEED Energy Star Consumption Cogeneration
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