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Each year, cities and their citizens consume resources in their homes, cars and offices. These resources not only emit harmful pollutants that are detrimental to health, but costs money to purchase. By understanding opportunities of emissions and energy reduction across the entire city, Dynamhex helps Roeland Park identify and reduce energy costs and pollution. The benefit is healthier communities, as well as lower costs of energy.
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Each year, the demographic and socio-economic make up of a city changes drastically, with more buildings being built or renovated, and economic activity changing. As a result, each year the drivers of greenhouse gas emissions also change significantly. These new data sets are recompiled and re-analyzed to arrive at different measured emissions results on an annual basis.
Dynamhex has created a bottom-up model that statistically estimates all uses of energy and resources that collectively make up greenhouse gas emissions, such as liquid fuel usage in transportation, electricity and fuel uses in homes, offices and other structures, as well as information from the power providers in the types of fuels they consume to generate electricity.
Typically, major changes made to structures are reported in the form of permits. The software can analyze county-level data to estimate the latest changes made. Alternatively, Dynamhex enables tenants and property owners to input latest changes to the structure so the model can auto-calibrate the efficiency levels, and thus total footprint of the structures.
Most residents are not completely aware of their overall footprint or know the avenues available to them to make measurable changes in consumption or costs. The City’s use of Dynamhex helps each resident understand their own footprint, and what they can do to reduce their footprint - such as insulate crawl space, find rebates for efficient appliances or lighting, etc.
Please check out the instructional video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Dynamhex.
The City will use the information gathered to inform their long-term strategy to build a healthy community - including urban planning, development and purchasing decisions. By knowing the distribution of emissions across the City, the City can better set emission targets. These targets will influence policymaking and program development in ways that can reduce these emissions over time. A data-centric tool enables the City staff and leadership to identify community partners who can join them in addressing concerns of energy costs, environmental pollution and community health.
The Paris Climate Accord calls for nations and her residents to collectively reduce their emissions by 25% by 2025. Dynamhex assists cities and their residents and local businesses with keeping track of their footprint and helping them to contribute to that goal, on a local level. Roeland Park is leading by example, as a member of the Climate Action KC coalition, with the regional climate change planning.
The City of Roeland Park approved Resolution 676 adopting a carbon emission reduction goal of a 28% reduction by 2025. In addition to the purchase of Dynamhex which will help the City and its residents track emissions, the City has already taken several steps to become cleaner, greener and more energy efficient:
Waste and recycling
Dynamhex shows each building owner and resident in Roeland Park tangible steps that they can use to reduce their carbon footprint or environmental impact, which the tool measures as carbon emissions given off from their energy use (electricity, natural gas or other fuels used in buildings, or gasoline from transportation). By identifying sources of energy wastage, such as from poor insulation, or old equipment, each Roeland Park resident can lower their bills while lowering emissions. Beyond replacing structures or equipment, various behavioral measures such as energy conservation - turning off lights when not in use, using timers and smart thermostats to regulate heating and cooling, etc. can save lots of energy and money. These same activities also directly reduce the footprint of each resident and lowers their impact on the environment.
Energy can be consumed in various forms, either through the burning or processing of fuels, such as natural gas or motor gasoline for heating our homes or driving our vehicles. Electricity, which is consistently getting cleaner due to a shift from coal to renewable energy, such as wind and solar, is increasingly a key solution to cleaner energy use.
Percentage electrification denotes the portion of energy use by each resident, which is from electricity, as opposed to direct fuels, like propane, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene or diesel. In other words, 67% electrification for building means, two-thirds of all energy consumed by the structure in any given year is electricity, and one-third is some form of liquid or gaseous fuel. Typically, the higher the electrification percentage, the more efficient and clean the energy source is. Whenever possible, direct fuels should be transitioned into electricity usage, such as through using electric heat pumps for buildings, or electric vehicles for transportation.