Fundamental to the 100PercentCT project is an initial assessment of a town’s energy usage and related characteristics. Of course, when starting a journey or a project, it is good to know your starting point. Moreover, such an assessment yields important insights.
PACE has developed an approach and tools to carry out a baseline assessment of a town’s energy landscape. This review comprises the following steps:
We invite you to contact us to help you get started.
In our work with towns and cities in Connecticut, we have found it to be instructive to start with a simple calculation of current energy usage from publicly available sources.
These calculations help to answer some basic questions such as:
These calculations draw upon the following data:
The resources list at the bottom of this page includes a spreadsheet with aggregate electricity and natural gas figures for all towns in Connecticut as well as a data request for procuring the necessary grand list data from the town tax assessor. It also contains an Excel template for performing these calculations based on a range of assumptions (e.g., average heating oil consumption, average vehicle miles driven and miles per gallon, etc.); PACE is ready to assist your town in populating this template and interpreting its results.Read More
Having calculated the town’s current energy usage, we next estimate how much energy we would need under the 100% renewable energy scenario. This scenario requires us to move beyond fossil fuels and move to “strategic” or “beneficial” electrification. In this paradigm, we will have electrified heating and cooling (i.e., with heat pumps) as well as transportation (i.e., with electric vehicles)?
The Excel spreadsheet referenced below performs calculations of the new energy load based on a range of high-level assumptions (e.g., heat pump energy loads, electric vehicle consumption in KWH per mile). As with the current energy calculations, PACE is ready to assist your town in using and interpreting this Excel template.
In a world of 100% renewable energy, each town will procure its electricity from a range of sources, including some located in the town and many others located elsewhere (e.g., offshore wind, utility-scale solar arrays.) While not essential at the start of the project, it is instructive for a town to conduct a survey of how much renewable energy could be generated in town. For most towns and cities, the sole or predominant renewable source will be solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays on rooftops, carports and land areas.
PACE has experience in conducting solar siting surveys using high-level estimates for residences and approximate calculations using solar estimation software (i.e., Helioscope) for businesses, carports and land areas. We are ready to assist in carrying out illustrative calculations for your town.
The aggregate numbers produced by the PACE benchmarking process are only part of the benchmarking process. They serve to estimate the potential for demand reduction and the amount of renewable energy that must be procured .
In addition to these aggregate number a community will want to assess its building stock and transportation fleet with qualitative and quantitative perspectives.
Qualitative analysis assesses the character of the town and factors such as whether the town is willing to permit ground mount solar, solar on historic homes, the charging infrastructure, the existence (or not) of public transport options. This qualitative assessment should also examine the nature of the town’s governance with respect to building and transportation efficiency. Finally it is important to understand the relative contributions of municipal, residential, and business consumers.
Quantitative analysis of the building and transport fleet is also important. Some examples of features to be assessed: