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Data Dictionary: Census 1980
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Survey: Census 1980
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: T131. Water Heating Fuel [7]
Universe: Occupied Housing Units
Table Details
T131. Water Heating Fuel
Universe: Occupied Housing Units
Variable Label
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; Census of Population and Housing, 1980: Summary Tape File 3 [machine-readable data file] / conducted By the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington: Bureau of the Census [producer and distributor], 1982.
The types of combustible matter most often used for house heating, water heating, and cooking in occupied housing, units, tabulated separately. The term "house heating" applies to all types of structures, including apartment buildings. These items were asked on a sample basis.

Utility gas
Gas piped underground from a central system (public utility company, municipal government, or the like) that serves the neighborhood.

Bottled, tank, or LP gas
Bottled, tank, or liquefied petroleum gas stored in tanks which are refilled or exchanged when empty.

Fuel oil, kerosene, etc
Fuel oil, distillate, residual oil, kerosene, gasoline, alcohol, and other combustible liquids and semi-fluids.

Coal or coke
Purchased wood, wood cut by household members on their property or elsewhere, driftwood, sawmill or construction scraps, or the like.

Other fuel
All other fuels not specified elsewhere, including purchased steam, fuel briquettes, coal dust, waste materials such as corncobs, etc. Households that use solar energy as the prime source of fuel are also included in this category. In certain tabulations of limited detail, coal or coke, wood and sometimes fuel oil and kerosene are combined and shown as either "other fuel" or "other.

No fuel used
Includes the three definitions below.

  • In house heating fuel data--the number of housing units that are not heated;
  • in water heating fuel data--the number of housing units without piped hot water; and
  • in cooking fuel data --the number of housing units with no cooking equipment in the unit.

Exclusive Fuel Used
Use of only one type of fuel for house heating, water heating and cooking, ascertained for occupied housing units. The types of exclusive fuel used shown separately are utility gas and electricity. The residual category "other" includes all occupied housing units where utility gas or electricity were not the fuel used exclusively for the three purposes--house heating, water heating, and cooking.

A test survey taken before the census showed moderate to large biases in the question on fuels used. A 1970 census evaluation study found that electricity was overreported as a house heating fuel and that fuel oil and kerosene were underreported in the 1970 census.

Historical comparability
Similar data have been collected on cooking and house heating since 1940 and on water heating since 1960.

See also: Energy Costs, Monthly Residential; Heating Equipment