FACTSHEET: LA Energy Atlas

The LA Energy Atlas for Los Angeles County

www.energyatlas.ucla.edu

OVERVIEW

The Energy Atlas is an interactive web Atlas that provides decision-makers, researchers and the public with access to the largest and most disaggregated building energy data available in the nation. The website is powered by a geospatial relational database that connects address level energy consumption to building characteristics and census information. This first of its kind interactive website can be used to inform energy planning and research in Los Angeles County and throughout California as the State works to achieve its ambitious energy goals and local regions work to create energy sustainability. The Energy Atlas is a community resource. All data is downloadable and aggregated to protect privacy. Researchers invite users to explore the data and tools to create their own analysis and to inform their own work.

The Energy Atlas, developed by the UCLA California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC), was funded by the Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCal REN) and the County of Los Angeles’ Office of Sustainability, it has benefited from the support and input of a number of partners including the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC), and the Energy Coalition (TEC), as well as interest from a broad range of policy makers, energy experts and program administrators. The Energy Atlas provides important public interest energy data and analysis to assist the state in meeting its energy goals. It improves transparency of building energy consumption in the most populous county in the United States.

ENERGY ATLAS FEATURES

  • An Interactive Map
    • The map visually displays energy consumption across the county by COG, City and Neighborhood by building type, age, type of energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Users can view data by total consumption, median consumption, median per square foot consumption and median per capita (residential). Each value is calculated from individual accounts and aggregated to protect customer privacy.
  • Tables and Profiles
    • These provide detailed downloadable information for each of the above variables for each geography including longitudinal data from 2006-2010.
  • Analysis
    • Data stories analyze relationships among variables including energy use and building characteristics such as age of buildings, energy use and sociodemographic characteristics, and trends. This section of the website will be updated regularly and CCSC welcomes data discoveries from stakeholders, researchers and the curious.
  • Strategies
    • This section provides energy conservation strategies and a range of state and local energy policies, incentives and goals in the fields of energy efficiency and renewables, as well as links to further resources in these fields.

IMPLICATIONS OF THE WORK

The Energy Atlas creates a dynamic and flexible data structure to generate new knowledge and a greater understanding of building energy use by integrating different data sets with the energy data. The geospatial relational database can link energy consumption to any geographically specified data set to inform policy decisions, track consumption over time and create innovative research in a rapid and efficient manner. Integrating Census data, building attributes from the County Assessor database such as the size of buildings, their vintage and construction materials as well as their use provides new insights into relationships between different factors to facilitate the development of effective and targeted programs that maximize energy savings and investments in renewable energy. It creates a baseline of energy use against which program implementation can be evaluated efficiently and affordably in real time. It is a valuable tool for policy makers, researchers, and the public interest to ensure the State is successful in its goals to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

BENEFITS OF THE WORK

The Atlas has important benefits to the region including:

  • Assisting local governments in consolidating and coordinating individual climate action and energy reduction efforts happening across the region by providing region-wide climate and energy data.
  • Helping individual local governments to improve climate action and energy reduction efforts by providing analytics tailored to specific geographies within the region (e.g. Cities or COGs).
  • Assisting to identify communities for additional investments.
  • Evaluating GHG emissions from the built environment, assisting efforts to improve air quality and transition to the state’s renewable portfolio standards.

 

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

The mission of the California Center for Sustainable Communities, directed by Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, is to create actionable science that improves the sustainability of urban systems.  It aims to provide intellectual and conceptual frameworks for new synthesis and thinking in sustainability research for all Californians. For cities to remain habitable, profound changes need to occur both in cities themselves and in the ways they impact the surrounding landscapes and hinterlands. Achieving progress toward sustainability requires maintaining and improving both human and ecosystem well-being. Our challenge is to make cities centers of sustainability in the ways they develop and redevelop beyond the next century.

 

A PDF version of the factsheet is available for download: LA Energy Atlas Factsheet.