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Updating the PECAS Modeling Framework to Include Energy Use Data for Buildings


Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Circella, Giovanni, Robert A. Johnston, Andrew Holguin, Eric Lehmer, Yang Wang, Michael McCoy (2013) Updating the PECAS Modeling Framework to Include Energy Use Data for Buildings. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-13-04

Building operations nowadays account for an important portion of total energy consumption. This study investigates the consumption of electricity and natural gas for building operations for several categories of residential and non-residential buildings. The purpose of the study is to update the Production Exchange Consumption Allocation System (PECAS) land use modeling framework to include energy components. The proposed approach is useful to serve as part of an urban metabolism framework, creating a methodology to account for environmental and energy balances of cities and complex regions. Annual electricity and natural gas consumption data from utility companies operating in Los Angeles County are used to build an energy database to study energy consumption in buildings, based on the analysis of almost 450,000 Energy Analysis Zones. Additional data on building stock, climate zones, geomorphological data, and sociodemographics are collected from multiple sources and integrated into the energy database. We conduct statistical analysis of utility data and estimate linear regression models to predict energy consumption in buildings. Electricity and natural gas consumption in residential and non-residential buildings are studied in relation to several variables, including building use type, building size, and climate zone. Energy profiles are created for several categories of buildings. Annual energy consumption is estimated for various types of residential units. Electricity and natural gas consumption per square foot of developed floorspace is estimated for various categories of non-residential buildings. We validate the results of the analyses through validity checks carried out using data from independent sources, including the California Residential Appliance Saturation Study (RASS) and the Commercial End-Use Survey (CEUS), given the limited amount of energy data provided by the utility companies, to date, and the lack of overlapping data for the consumption of both electricity and natural gas in the same zones. The results of the study are useful to update the PECAS land use modeling framework, and form part of the baseline study to estimate energy and greenhouse gas balances in an urban metabolism framework for the analysis of the environmental impacts of complex urban regions. The results also allow us to estimate the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for residential and commercial building operations through the application to the total residential and commercial building inventory in the region. These results are then useful for the evaluation of possible energy savings in buildings.