Energy is a topic that intersects with many other components of a community’s comprehensive plan. One of the key takeaways from our experience developing local community energy plans is that energy is a topic best discussed and implemented in the course of drafting or updating a comprehensive plan. Energy is a key part of developing strategies for housing, transportation, community facilities and services, economic development, and natural systems. Energy is best used as a lens that a community uses to inform and enhance their strategies on a variety of fronts.
- Topics to be addressed related to Energy:
- Facilities and municipal energy use
- The resiliency of energy systems serving the community
- The effect of development patterns and transportation choice on energy use
- The energy efficiency of building stock within the community
- Equity of access to energy efficient housing and incentives used to improve energy efficiency
- The ability of existing energy capacities to meet anticipated future demands based on projected land use
- Improve access to, and the use of, renewable and/or cleaner sources of energy
Inventory of energy related trends, facilities, issues, needs, and opportunities in the community:
- Develop a Community Energy Baseline. The baseline can include any of the following measurements:
- Community energy use data from the utility company
- Public facility energy use data from the municipal energy bills
- Transportation energy use, using means of commuting to work from census data and areas of significant traffic congestion from OKI
- Number and distribution of dwelling units by type, size, age, and predominant types of construction (from Housing Element data)
- Engage public safety administrators and utility representatives to identify essential facilities and infrastructure, along with facilities and network components which are most at risk during a community-wide emergency.
- Assess the presence of renewable and/or clean sources of energy technology within the community using the .
- Assess the regulations and policies affecting the use of renewable and/or clean sources of energy technology within the community.
- Investigate the impact of energy burden in the community. Energy burden is calculated by dividing the net cost of household energy (available from the utility) by total household income.
- Map areas most impacted by the urban heat island effect.