Clean Energy Toolkit Topic: Estimate Local Energy Use Baseline

Before identifying energy goals, and consequent strategies to reach those goals, communities must first develop an energy use profile of the community as a whole, including the municipal, residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Unfortunately, residential, commercial and industrial data is currently not available at the municipal level from utilities, so that portion of the profile must be estimated based on census data, labor statistics and building energy survey analyses.

This strategy describes how to derive local energy use baselines for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors in Massachusetts communities. However, these data are publically available on the national level and could be replicated for a community anywhere in the United States (with some modifications to regional-specific assumptions). In the interest of simplicity, these baselines include only electricity, natural gas and fuel oil consumption. Communities that rely heavily on other fuels (e.g., wood, propane or district heating) should consider expanding the methodology to account for those fuel types. Read more.