When you compare the skylined cities of New York and Charlotte you might not think they have much in common. On the surface it’s cul-de-sacs vs. boroughs, Bobcats vs. Knicks. And now, Cam vs Tebow. But if you dive a little deeper you find both cities have something very unique in common. Both have launched innovative approach to illustrating energy usage data.
If you like tracking energy use in your home, you may be really intrigued to see what’s happening in New York City. Thanks to a website developed as part of a research project conducted in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in Manhattan you can see the city’s energy consumption block by block.
This interactive aerial map details an estimate of delivered energy consumption by tax property, contingent on the weather and building function. The data reflects public information such as building square footage (tax lots) from city planning maps, detailing two residential categories, and facilities dedicated to education, healthcare, warehouse, office and retail (differentiated, for the most part, by borough – an office building in Manhattan likely has energy needs different than those of an office building in the Bronx). Buildings that include first-floor retail with supplemental floors of office or residential space are also accommodated – they thought of everything.
If you know the address of your favorite building, you can zoom in and find out their estimated annual energy use. For example, the Empire State building’s estimated annual electricity use is 26,372 (103) kWh. Pretty cool, huh?
In Charlotte, Duke Energy has partnered with Charlotte Center City Partners, Cisco, Verizon and others to launch a unique sustainability program called Envision Charlotte that takes energy usage data even one step further. Envision Charlotte, uses Duke Energy’s Smart Energy Now® to display near real-time energy data to commercial buildings in the urban core. The program is creating awareness and driving behavioral change through interactive kiosks and grassroots outreach with office workers throughout uptown Charlotte.
With a goal to cut energy use up to 20 percent by 2016 the program hopes to transform uptown Charlotte into the most environmentally and economically sustainable urban core in the country. This will avoid approximately 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases or, simply put, save enough energy to power 40,000 homes. You can see the real-time data at www.SmartEnergyCharlotte.com.