The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) within the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a notice and request for comments describing its intent to reinstate the Residential Energy Consumption Survey. The federal agency is proposing to update the survey with changes including the addition of a question to collect information about the household use of energy-intensive medical equipment such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Federal Notice

According to the notice, the Residential Energy Consumption Survey is a nationwide study of energy use in housing units and includes a series of data collections from households, rental agents (e.g., apartment managers), and household energy suppliers. The survey data include official statistics about the energy characteristics, consumption, and expenditures of U.S. homes. The federal government has conducted the survey periodically since 1978, and the 2020 survey will be the 15th data collection for the program.

Household Survey

The survey comprises six “forms,” including “Form EIA 457-A: Household Survey,” which collects information on the presence and characteristics of a wide range of energy consuming devices in homes, including heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and electronics. The government will conduct the survey using web and mail questionnaires to collect Household Survey responses for approximately 20,000 households.

Household CPAP Use

The notice proposes to update the Household Survey to collect information on emerging technologies and traditional energy-consuming devices, while also updating some questions to improve data quality. In the electronics section of the survey, a new question will collect data on the use of energy-intensive medical equipment such as CPAP, dialysis machines, and other medical devices. According to the notice, this equipment may account for a significant portion of “miscellaneous electric load” consumption if used in a household. The question will collect the presence of the most common and most energy-intensive medical devices in homes.

You can submit comments on this proposed information collection through Jan. 21, 2020.

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