The Gadgetization of the American Home

Household energy use, 1978 and 2005

The DVR was introduced in 1999. Ten years later, four in ten households owned at least one.

In 1978, most households had one television only. In 2009, the average household owned 2.5 TVs. In 1978, the modern desktop was a geek's dream. Today, a third of families own two.

The EIA's Residential Energy Consumption Survey is a crackerjack box of fun facts and statistics about U.S. energy use and the growing electronic bouquet of the typical American family. Grist extracts some of the most interesting stats:

  • Percent of households with air conditioning in 1978: 23. In 2009: 61.
  • Percent of households with dishwashers in 1978: 35. In 2009: 59.
  • Percent of households with washing machines in 1978: 74. In 2009: 82.
  • Percent of households with personal computers in 1978: Practically none. In 2009: 76.
  • Percent of households with a television screen larger than 37 inches in 1978: Are you kidding? In 2009: 45.
  • Also, 79 percent of homes in 2009 had a DVD player, 43 percent had a DVR, and nearly a third had at least four electronic devices plugged in at any given time.

Read the full story at Grist