Energy and Climate Change Initiatives

DVRPC's Office of Climate and Environment leads, supports, and coordinates efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in our region. DVRPC’s long-range plan supports a goal to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2040, which will put our region on track to achieve the latest scientific recommendation of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a reduction necessary to keep the impacts of global climate change within an acceptable range.

Achieving this goal relies on a combination of energy efficiency, conservation, cleaner energy sources, and changes in individual behavior and how the built environment is organized. Addressing this issue now as a region will help Greater Philadelphia's long-term economic competitiveness.

Electric Vehicle Resource Kit for Municipalities

This resource kit is intended to help the user answer "What should my municipality do about electric vehicles?" It is written specifically for municipal managers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with a focus on the Greater Philadelphia region.  However, the information it provides is likely to be useful to other users, including businesses, fleet managers, and potential electric vehicle owners.

Planning for Electric Vehicles – Mapping Vehicle Distribution and Workplace Charging Demand

Planning for Electric Vehicles – Mapping Vehicle Distribution and Workplace Charging Demand

The “Planning for Electric Vehicles - Mapping Vehicle Distribution and Workplace Charging Demand” webmap allows planners to access results from the DVRPC/UC Davis Electric Vehicle Planning Toolkit. These results include current and projected numbers and geographic distribution of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and the anticipated workplace charging demand associated with future distribution. The map series shows these data and projections for three different geographies: the 9-county DVRPC region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the State of New Jersey. The EV Planning Toolkit uses different future PEV penetration scenarios to produce the data displays for each geography. The current and future PEV distribution data are viewable at the municipal and Census Block Group levels. The workplace charging demand data are viewable only at the Census Block Group level.

Municipal Management in a Changing Climate

The 36-page brochure, published in July 2018, summarizes historic and projected changes in the region's climate, the impacts those changes are expected to have on municipal operations, and how municipalities can prepare themselves for these impacts. Figures for county-level projections may be downloaded here. This is number 31 in DVRPC’s Municipal Implementation Tool Brochure series.

Municipal Management of Extreme Heat

This 48-page brochure, published in May 2021, summarizes the causes of current and future extreme heat, the impacts of extreme heat on vulnerable populations and infrastructure, and how municipalities can mitigate, prepare for, and respond to extreme heat events. Figures, maps, and shapefiles for county-level and regional projections and analyses may be downloaded here. This is number 33 in DVRPC’s Municipal Implementation Tool Brochure series.

Regional Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Municipal Energy and Emissions Profiles

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. Starting in 2005, DVRPC has inventoried energy use and GHG emissions in Greater Philadelphia every five years. For planning purposes, energy use and GHG emissions in these inventories are allocated to the region's counties and municipalities. DVRPC's most recent inventory and map-based web tool displaying municipal allocations are for 2015.

Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Projects in Greater Philadelphia

Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Projects

Many entities in the region have undertaken projects that reduce energy use and/or greenhouse gas emissions. The Office of Energy and Climate Change Initiatives created an interactive map to showcase these projects. There are four categories of projects: Energy Innovation, Energy Storage, Green Buildings, and Solar Power Generation.

Municipal Energy Management

DVRPC works with municipalities in Southeastern Pennsylvania to identify ways to reduce energy use in buildings, outdoor lighting, and water/sewage treatment facilities.

Preparing the Region for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future of our region's energy mix. DVRPC supports the development of renewable energy in our region. DVRPC’s Solar Landing Page highlights several resources to assist local governments and regional advocates in encouraging the growth of the local solar market and to understand and implement best management practices that help reduce the "soft costs" of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. Many of these resources highlighted on the Solar Landing Page were developed or adopted through DVRPC’s role as a a U.S. DOE SolSmart advisor. In the past, DVRPC participated in Solar Ready II, a national partnership of regions to explore best practices for encouraging local solar market growth. DVRPC's Renewable Energy Ordinance Frameworks serve as a resource for municipalities as they develop and update ordinances to govern the siting of small-scale renewable energy systems, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, in their communities.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) use combinations of vehicle fuels and technologies to reduce the use of petroleum in on-road vehicles. These include low-carbon fuels (sometimes blended with petroleum), electricity, and hybrid technologies combining internal combustion engines with electric motors. DVRPC has conducted several projects related to AFVs in the DVRPC Region. The “Planning for Electric Vehicles - Mapping Vehicle Distribution and Workplace Charging Demand” webmap allows planners to access results from the DVRPC/UC Davis Electric Vehicle Planning Toolkit. Other projects include Ready to Roll! Southeastern Pennsylvania's Regional Electric Vehicle Action Plan (Ready to Roll!), the Pennsylvania Partnership to Promote Natural Gas Vehicles, and a report cataloging the challenges and benefits of all available alternative fuel vehicles (Ready to Roll?: Overview of Challenges and Opportunities for Alternative Fuel Vehicles in the Delaware Valley).

Regional Streelight Procurement Program

DVRPC’s Regional Street Lighting Procurement Program (RSLPP) pools the decision-making and purchasing power of municipalities so that they can confidently and cost effectively access the resources needed to complete an LED street and exterior lighting project.

Profiles in Energy Efficiency

Throughout the region, schools, local governments, businesses, and residents are realizing considerable financial benefits by integrating energy efficiency into their operations and decision making. DVRPC's Profiles in Energy Efficiency series of case studies profile cost-effective and replicable energy-efficiency projects in the Greater Philadelphia region. These profiles not only highlight the projects in large, commercial buildings, but also include work done by homeowners, and by government municipalities in schools, libraries, and for street lights and traffic signals.

Climate Change Resiliency

Sea level rise caused by climate change poses serious threats to built and natural environments throughout Greater Philadelphia. More severe storms, increased precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme heat will lead to increased flooding, wetland loss, erosion, short-term drought, heat-related stress, and loss of life and property. Fortunately, adapting to climate change will not require wholesale new efforts. Existing initiatives like smart growth, floodplain management, asset management, and urban greening will make our communities more resilient to climate-related threats. DVRPC is in involved in a number of planning efforts in communities, throughout the region, and with national partners.


There are many resources that address climate change and inform related issues, including greenhouse gas emissions inventories, energy efficiency, alternative energy and fuels, transportation, local action plans, and statewide adaptation plans.

Christopher LinnManager, Office of Environmental Planning
Air Quality Partnership
COVID-19 Resources
Dispatches from Alternate Futures

190 N Independence Mall West, 8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1520