Energy Baselines – the Urban Metabolism of Los Angeles County

The objective of this project is to create a Community-Wide Energy Use Protocol and comprehensive energy baselines for California communities. These community baselines will be the first to capture direct, indirect, and supply chain energy. Integrating life-cycle accounting offers an assessment of how decisions result in effects within and beyond political borders. The Protocol will combine the PECAS (Production, Exchange and Consumption Allocation System) model with life-cycle assessment (LCA), current socio-economic data, and policy analysis to offer energy and environmental accounting that reaches beyond greenhouse gas emissions to include the social, environmental and economic aspects of energy use. The energy baselines will provide data on California communities’ current energy use patterns that is populated by real time information as well as modeled projections. It will be a platform that can be regularly maintained and updated. Information can be used to assist in the effective implementation of SB 375, develop more targeted energy conservation programs, support local and regional energy and land use planning, and identify land use responses to climate change. This will be overlaid with land use information, enabling the mapping of energy use geographically, by land use and demographic information.

The project is funded both by PIER and by ARRA funds contributed by the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and sustainability, a voluntary organization of local jurisdictions that came together to coordinate planning for long-term sustainability at the county level.

See our powerpoint for an overview of our approach.

Research Team Baselines Team