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Staff Working Papers
Working Paper 24-05: Tracking Our Footprint: CO2 Emissions from US Single-Family Homes

Published: 05/24/2024


​​​​​Becka Brolinson, Jessica Shui, and November Wilson


We estimate residential energy use and CO2 emissions for single-family homes using administrative data from approximately 45 million property appraisals, or 1.8 billion property-month observations. First, we find that from 2013 to 2021, CO2 emissions decreased by 11.5 percent in aggregate in our sample. Emissions from electricity use decreased by 20.8 percent, while emissions from natural gas use for home heating increased by 11 percent over the same time. Second, we estimate that the majority of the decline in CO2 emissions from properties in our sample can be attributed to the greening of US energy generation, rather than changes over time to property-level characteristics. Third, we show that aggregate emissions estimates from the property-level data closely align with aggregate emissions estimates using publicly available state-level data in 2020, providing validation of our approach using property-level data and demonstrating that for aggregate estimates, state-level data is sufficient.​

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Working Paper 24-05