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Energy Use in Cities

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New book outlines path for equitable clean energy transition

Researchers with the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA have been researching ways to make urban systems — including water and energy supply — more sustainable. A new book from the group, Energy Use in Cities: A Roadmap for Urban Transitions, uses building-level energy data to explore ways to help local governments and community organizations meet sustainability goals.

The book is authored by Stephanie Pincetl, Hannah Gustafson, Felicia Federico, Eric Daniel Fournier, Robert Cudd, and Erik Porse. The research team, led by Pincetl, created the Energy Atlas, an interactive website built with the largest set of publicly available energy data in the nation. The atlas is a free tool anyone can use to see how energy use varies among building size, age and type, location and demographics.

Getting all of the data in the first place was a real challenge, Pincetl said. The book details her quest to gain access to data held by utility firms and describes the creation and implementation of the atlas. It aims to serve as a roadmap for researchers, local governments and organizations who want to create equitable and efficient clean energy plans.