Measuring the nation's energy use

The Challenge 

To be able to plan for future energy demand and improve energy efficiency, energy experts need to know a lot about how U.S. residents are using energy now. First conducted in 1978, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) Energy Supplier Surveys (ESS) collects data from energy suppliers to estimate residents’ energy costs and usage for heating, cooling, appliances, and more.

The U.S. Department of Energy asked Westat to conduct the 2015 RECS ESS survey of approximately 1,000 energy suppliers, which included collecting 20 months of energy usage and cost data from energy suppliers of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and propane.

Our Solutions 

Westat was responsible for

  • Developing a web site that allowed suppliers to review the data request and submit data
  • Developing a case management system for use at the home office and by the U.S. Energy Information Administration
  • Creating a tailored supplier contact strategy and materials, building on supplier participation in prior ESS rounds
  • Performing post-collection, data editing/cleaning, and file production activities

The Results 

  • The RECS ESS is the only survey that provides reliable, accurate, and precise comparisons of trends in energy consumption among households, housing types, and areas of the country.

Our Client 

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)