- Residential energy use characterization and mapping: research and development of information for community energy and greenhouse gas planning in Canada    click here to open paper content559 kb
by    Webster, Jessica & Tomalty , Ray & Korteling, Bett | jessica.webster@nrcan.gc.ca   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper outlines research on the characterization and mapping of residential energy use and greenhouse gases in Canadian communities and the integration of this information into urban planning processes.
Abstract
Developing rigorous yet easy-to understand information is a key challenge for informing land use planning decisions that result in reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing communities. This paper presents community energy characterization and mapping research conducted by CanmetENERGY, Canada's knowledge centre for scientific expertise on clean energy technologies and a division of the federal government department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

From 2005-2007 the Urban Archetypes Project studied 31 neighbourhoods in 8 Canadian communities, exploring the relationships between urban form, demographics and residential energy use; preliminary results of this work were presented at the ISOCARP conference in 2007 in Antwerp. This paper summarizes the projectís final results, including relevant variables of urban form and highlights energy, GHG and cost figures for vehicle transportation and energy use in representative dwelling types (houses and apartments) in selected neighbourhoods. It also describes the results of a multivariate regression analysis that explored the relationships between variables of urban form and vehicle kilometres travelled as a proxy for transportation energy consumption, where demographic variables of household size and household income were taken into account.

Research currently underway in conjunction with the Smart Growth on the Ground process in the City of Prince George, British Columbia builds on lessons learned in the Urban Archetypes Project. With a focus on characterization of energy use in houses and apartments, the Prince George research explores the integration of residential energy information into Geographic information Systems (GIS) to produce energy maps. These maps provide a visual overview of the residential building stock in the city and current simulated energy use within the residential sector. When future land use scenarios, population and energy efficiency improvements are included, future energy performance can also be modelled. In addition to the development of a methodology for energy mapping, the project is also assessing the role of energy indicators and maps in a community design process.

Characterization of energy use in communities, strategic integration of that information into urban planning processes such as design charettes are strategies currently being in Canada. Developing scientifically rigorous yet easy-to understand information that improves the energy and greenhouse gas literacy of both professionals and the general public can help communities on the path towards energy and carbon sustainability.
Keywords
residential energy characterization, energy mapping
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