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About the Bay Area Energy Atlas
The Bay Area Energy Atlas is a database of building energy consumption that links PG&E metered energy consumption to building characteristics, sociodemographic data, and other significant attributes. This website is a public data resource that displays spatially aggregated annual energy consumption statistics for the nine Bay Area counties.
The ability to associate energy consumption with buildings and population information allows users to ask deeper questions about how energy is being used. For example, what types of buildings in Alameda County have the highest energy intensity per unit area? How does energy consumption vary spatially, by population density, by income level, or by industry? How does energy consumption compare between single family homes in coastal Half Moon Bay and inland Vacaville? These types of fundamental questions are impossible to answer without a spatial database that merges these datasets together.
Buildings are responsible for roughly 40% of GHG emissions in the United States. The Energy Atlas project provides Californians, and those interested in ongoing energy transitions, with the opportunity to interact with one of the largest sets of disaggregated building energy data available in the nation. This interactive tool is used by a wide variety of stakeholder groups to inform energy planning and research throughout California. As creators of this tool, our mission is to provide transparency and access to critical energy data to achieve the state’s ambitious energy and climate goals. All the front-end website data is aggregated to protect individual customer privacy in accordance with CPUC guidelines, and is freely downloadable in CSV format. The Energy Atlas is developed by the UCLA California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) at UCLA, in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IOES), in partnership with and funded by the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN).
Features of the Atlas
Interactive Map
The map visually displays energy consumption across county, city, zip code, and census tract, as well as by building type, age, type of energy. Users can view data by building type as total consumption, median consumption, median per square foot consumption and per capita (residential buildings only) consumption. Each value is calculated from individual meters and aggregated to protect customer privacy. Some areas are masked to protect customer privacy.
Building Energy By Use Type Map View
Profiles
The profiles provides detailed information and comparisons for each of the above geographies including longitudinal data from 2013-2017 where available. This data is available for download through the Data Page.
Profile view comparing three counties.
Findings
Data stories analyze relationships and trends among variables, including energy use and building characteristics such as age of buildings, square footage, use type, and sociodemographic characteristics. This section of the website will be updated regularly and will welcome data discoveries from stakeholders, researchers, and the curious.
Data Download
Download CSV versions of the data presented on this site via the Data page.
A Note About Updates
With the challenge of standardizing and combining large and complex datasets, the Atlas should be thought of as a constantly evolving and improving tool. As technology improves and UCLA is able to enhance various aspects of the energy aggregation statistics, data on the Atlas website may change. We strive to produce the most accurate results possible, however given the existing limitations outlined in the Limitations section of the website, our results have certain intrinsic sources of error. We are constantly working to improve this tool and the valuable data outputs used for important policy and planning applications.
If you have a question about specific geographic energy consumption statistics, please reach out to CCSC.
Applications and Benefits
The Energy Atlas allows for the generation of new knowledge and a greater understanding of building energy use by integrating contextual data sets with energy consumption information. The central data sets include:
  • Census/American Community Survey data (median household income, population, renter/owner percentage)
  • Building attributes from the County Assessor databases (building size, vintage, use type)
Additional data provides new insights into relationships between different factors to develop effective and targeted programs that maximize energy savings and investments. The Energy Atlas creates a baseline of energy use data against which program implementation can be evaluated efficiently and affordably. It is a valuable tool for policy makers, researchers, and the public to ensure that the state is successful in its goals to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The Atlas has important benefits to regions including:
  • Assisting local governments in consolidating and coordinating climate action planning and energy reduction efforts across the region by providing region-wide energy data.
  • Helping individual local governments to improve climate action and energy reduction efforts by providing analytics tailored to specific geographies within the region.
  • Assisting in the identification of communities for additional investments.
About the CCSC
The mission of the California Center for Sustainable Communities, founded and 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 into centers of sustainability in the ways they develop and redevelop beyond the next century.
For more information visit the Center’s website: http://ioes.ucla.edu/ccsc
Bay Area – Energy Atlas © 2020