Baselining carbon dioxide emissions of Las Vegas Metropolitan Area residential building sector
This research aims to baseline the annual energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions from the residential sector of Las Vegas Metropolitan Area. The study institutes an operative database of individual energy consumption patterns and also derives the correlation between age of dwellings and their consumption. Finally, it evaluates the reductions needed in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions to meet the Kyoto Protocol targets for 2012.
The first part of the research synthesizes electricity and gas consumption data for 2005 obtained from the respective utility providers. Using this, the latest consumption trends are consolidated to create a baseline against which reduction targets can be formulated. The average consumption from electricity, gas and total energy use for Incorporated Clark County and the three cities—City of Las Vegas, City of North Las Vegas and City of Henderson—is established, and compared to national and state averages. Using Geographic Information Systems, ready-reference maps are constructed for the 54 zip codes that form the study area, highlighting consumption patterns and CO2 emissions of each street within these zip codes and comparing them to national and state averages. It is found that 74% of the streets in Las Vegas Metro Area have higher electricity consumption than the national average of 10,656 KWH.
The research then explores the effect of dwelling age and size on energy consumption. Consumption patterns are studied across a series of 'Age ranges' represented by the year of construction of dwellings. The entire Las Vegas Metro Area together, as well as each city within the study area, is individually analyzed for these patterns. Finally, the average consumption of each Age range is compared to the national average for that range. The results of this analysis show that dwellings built between 1980-84 consume the largest amount of electricity for the least number of dwellings as compared to all other Age ranges. It is also found that pre-1980 dwellings in the Las Vegas Metro Area on an average consume 49% more electricity as compared to pre-1980 dwellings in the rest of the country.
The second part of the research estimates the target reductions needed from Las Vegas Metro Area's residential sector so as to meet the Kyoto Protocol targets of 7% reductions of 1990 CO2 levels by 2012. Findings indicate that even if Supply-Side Management initiatives assist in reducing state carbon emissions, conservation measures would be needed to reduce present average residential consumption by 60% in the next four years in order to keep at par with the projected population growth of the valley.
The research presents a useful database for policy makers, designers and home owners by identifying energy-intensive hotspots in the valley and establishing concrete reduction targets needed in light of the global energy crisis.
0768: Environmental science