California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC) researcher Jacki Murdock, along with advisor Yoh Kawano, GIS Coordinator at the Institute for Digital Research and Education at UCLA, has developed an interactive map of electricity use in Los Angeles at the Census block group level.
Users can hover over a block group to view average monthly energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) by month from January 2011 to June 2012. Users can also click on a block group to display detailed information regarding land use, income, year built, and block group square meters:
While the map will prove interesting for consumers — allowing for energy comparisons with other blocks and by seasons, for instance — Martin LaMonica reports at MIT Technology Review that the real target users are city planners and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP):
“With the data, the utility could develop more finely tuned programs to improve efficiency, such as retrofits targeted at high energy users or low-income neighborhoods, says project manager Stephanie Pincetl, a professor at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. It could also shed light on how buildings of a certain age perform and be combined with other data sources, such as projections for high heat days from climate change, she added.”
A post at the CCSC site notes that this is the first in a series of maps being developed for the Regional Energy Baselines Project, led by Pincetl. Pincetl told LaMonica that future plans include working with private utility companies to map areas of California not serviced by municipally owned utility companies.