community solar opportunities map

Research Project | 2018

The Healthy Home Study

Using Big Data to Holistically Assess Benefits from Building Energy System Transition Pathways in Disadvantaged Communities

This project uses big data to determine which buildings and urban energy system transitions are likely to affect the exposure of Californians to various health risks associated with the combustion of natural gas. As California moves forward with its aggressive agenda to decarbonize its energy system, care must be taken to assess the degree to which its pursuit of various energy system transformation pathways is likely to result in additional benefits for Californians. One extremely important category of benefits is the reduction of health risks that result from exposure to natural gas combustion by-products, both from appliances within homes and from grid scale generation stations. There is no study that currently assesses these benefits at a local scale as they relate to various building energy system decarbonization pathways.

Along with Michael Jerrett of the UCLA School of Public Health, CCSC staff use big data to quantify the extent to which various decarbonization pathways are likely to modify the shape of a real world disadvantaged community’s hourly electricity and natural gas load profiles. These load curve changes will then be propagated into indoor and ambient air quality impacts through a set of impact factors that will be customized to the specific community’s local context through an integrated community outreach and measurement program.

ActiveSGV is our community partner with The Energy Coalition looking at the exposure of natural gas within homes residing in zip codes 91732 and 91746. Participating households were asked to host three small air quality monitors at their residence, two indoor monitors and one outdoor monitor, for a period of two weeks during Winter and Summer 2019.

The team has also produced a guidebook to help households wanting to switch their gas appliances to electric: The ABC’s of Electrifying Your Gas Appliances 

Issuing entity: California Energy Commission
Project Start Date: 2018