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Regional Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Tracking energy use, energy expenditures, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is the first step in developing informed regional and local policies to increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions. DVRPC periodically inventories our region’s energy consumption, energy expenditures, and GHG emissions. This inventory is allocated to the region’s counties and municipalities. DVRPC’s most recent inventory is for calendar year 2010, and updates a baseline inventory for 2005. Regional and county totals are discussed below.

DVRPC also developed a web tool to provide users with information specific to any municipality in the region. Please contact DVRPC's Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives if you would like more detailed information or additional guidance on how to use these results.

DVRPC will produce a document describing the inventory methodology in detail and provide additional information on the region's energy use and GHG emissions, and activities underway to reduce both. DVRPC anticipates this document will be completed by the end of 2013.

Our Region's Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

DVRPC's most recent inventory estimates energy use, energy expenditures, and greenhouse gas emissions for 2010. DVRPC calculated energy use and emissions associated with the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, as well as the transportation sector, which includes on-road transportation, passenger and freight rail, aviation, marine transportation, and off-road vehicles. Emissions resulting from waste management (solid waste and wastewater), agriculture processes (both animal and plant related), non-energy-related emissions from industrial processes, and fugitive and process emissions from fuel systems (natural gas systems and petroleum systems) are also included, as well as emissions changes due to land use change and forestry.

In 2010, these activities resulted in the consumption of 1,288 trillion BTUs of energy and the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to the release of 81.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. About 90 percent of these emissions resulted from energy consumption, including stationary energy consumption by the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors and mobile energy consumption by the transportation sector. In 2010, the region expended an estimated $23 billion on energy. Fugitive and process emissions from fuel systems accounted for 5.3 percent of total emissions. Industrial processes and waste management each accounted for an additional 2.7 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Agricultural processes accounted for less than 1 percent of total emissions. When the net change in carbon stocks in the region's trees is taken into account, the region's total emissions are slightly lower, at 79.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e).

Table 1. Summary of Regional Energy Consumption - 2010
Source: DVRPC, 2013

SourceEnergy Use (BBTU)Percent of Total
Stationary Energy Consumption: Commercial & Industrial582,67945.2%
Stationary Energy Consumption: Residential363,81228.2%
Mobile Energy Consumption342,00926.5%
Total1,288,500100%

Table 2. Summary of Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions - 2010
Source: DVRPC, 2013

SourceEmissions (MMTCO2e)Percent of Total
Stationary Energy Consumption: Commercial & Industrial29.135.6%
Stationary Energy Consumption: Residential18.022.0%
Mobile Energy Consumption26.131.9%
Fugitive and Process Emissions from Fuel Systems4.35.3%
Industrial Processes2.22.7%
Waste Management1.61.9%
Agriculture0.40.5%
Total Emissions (Gross)81.6100%
Land Use / Forestry(1.9) 
Total Emissions (Net)79.7 

Based on DVRPC's allocation to the region's counties, activity in Philadelphia County used the most energy, 283 trillion BTUs. Activity in Gloucester County consumed the least energy, 84 trillion BTUs. However, Philadelphia had the lowest energy consumption per capita with 126 million BTUs used per person/job, while Gloucester County had the highest energy consumption per capita at 209 million BTUs per person/job.* Higher per capita energy use in Gloucester County results in part from substantial energy consumption by the county's commercial and industrial sector and a residential population which is lower than other counties in the region.

Figure 1. Energy Use by County
Source: DVRPC, 2013

Figure 2: Energy Use Per Capita by County
Source: DVRPC, 2013

Activity in Philadelphia resulted in the most GHG emissions, 17.82 MMTCO2e. Activity in Mercer County resulted in the least emissions, 5.13 MMTCO2e. Camden County had the lowest emissions per capita, 7.8 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per person/job, while Gloucester County had the highest emissions per capita, 13.6 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per person/job. Higher per capita GHG emissions in Gloucester County results again from substantial energy consumption by the county's commercial and industrial sector and emissions resulting from that consumption, but is further increased by industrial process and fugitive (non-energy consumption) emissions from petroleum refining facilities located in the county.

Figure 3. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by County
Source: DVRPC, 2013

Figure 4: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita by County
Source: DVRPC, 2013

Altogether, regional emissions accounted for about 1.2 percent of gross national emissions. With 1.8 percent of the nation's population in 2010, per capita emissions in the DVRPC region were about one third lower than in the nation as a whole. Municipal allocations demonstrate that municipalities in our region with higher densities tend to produce lower per capita emissions.

DVRPC estimated region-wide emissions were 8.1 MMTCO2e lower in 2010 than in 2005. Emissions estimates were lower across several major use categories, including stationary energy consumption and mobile energy consumption. These differences likely resulted from a number of factors, including a slowed economy, a reduction in the percentage of electricity produced from coal versus cleaner fuels, and an increase in motor vehicle fuel economy. Differences in some categories also resulted from modified estimation methods, which DVRPC employed particularly where more accurate data was available for 2010.

DVRPC will continue to use these inventory results to shape its work to develop policies and programs to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region. DVRPC will also use these results to support inventory efforts at the county and municipality level, as well as to support regional analysis of where investments in energy conservation and efficiency and emissions reduction may be most productively made.

Additional Resources

Energy Use per Person/Job by Municipality (2010)
Map of Energy Use Per Capita by Municipality [1.0 MB pdf] (click to enlarge)
GHG Emissions per Person/Job by Municipality (2010)
Map of GHG Emissions Per Capita by Municipality [1.0 MB pdf] (click to enlarge)
 

* DVRPC combines population and jobs to serve as the basis for a modified per capita calculation that reflects both the energy demands of households and businesses.