California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC)
........ there are two important
energy efficiency efforts are not being guided by good
information and data, and the state may be investing in inappropriate
efficiency or conservation programs and initiatives ;and
demand forecasts could be underestimating the impact of
future economic growth.
Technological progress may reduce the energy demand from
heating and ventilation , but the behavioral response of
new commercial building tenants and the
large-scale adoption of appliances more than offset these savings(heating),
leading to increases in energy consumption (air-conditioning,
lighting, computers) in more recently constructed
, more "efficient" structures.
The Energy Information Agency predicts that
between 2005 and
2030 electricity consumption will increase by,
- residential 39
- commercial 63
Two key factors in future energy demand are increasing
adoption of solar photovoltaic panels
and electric vehicles.
Because these two technologies are still developing, behavior patterns and
the resulting energy impacts are not well
information or questions regarding these comments, please contact:
Stephanie Pincetl, PhD
Director, California Center for Sustainable Communities, UCLA
Associate Director, California Center for Sustainable Communities, UCLA
Source: 2012: Kahn, Matthew; Kok, Nils; Quigley, John M.,
Commercial Building Electricity
Consumption: The Role of Structure Quality, Management, and Contract
A White Paper.
Authorizes a governing board of a
municipal operator, or other public agency operating transit, until January
1, 2021, to levy a
special benefit assessment on real property
to finance the acquisition, construction, development,
operation, maintenance, or repair of eligible transit projects.
According to the Howard Jarvis
Taxpayers Association, in opposition to the bill, "We believe there is an
insufficient benefit nexus to support transit funding under a 'benefit
assessment' theory. A 2008 California Supreme Court case
Silicon Valley Taxpayers'
Association v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
(HJTA was co-counsel) notes that
improvements that merely 'enhance the overall quality of life and
desirability of the area' was not a sufficient nexus to qualify for a
It is intriguing that one of the few transportation entities for which
special benefit authority exists; the Santa Clara Valley Transportation
Authority has never exercised it. This would seem to validate the
questionable legality of this practice."
Supporters argue that this bill will
provide an important tool for local transit-oriented development and will
foster greater use of public transportation, a critical component of meeting
the state's environmental goals.
Opposition arguments: Opposition
argues that transit operators already have the means available to them
(bonds, special taxes) that should be sufficient to construct capital
infrastructure projects and that there is an insufficient benefit nexus to
support transit funding under a "benefit assessment" theory.
SB628 multi-million dollar 30-year Bonds for Transit
and TOD without the usually required taxpayer vote !
Propositions to create a SPECIAL TAX (that used
to need a 2/3 majority) may pass
with only a 55% majority
SB 1, would authorize a Special District, city or county to adopt
a Sustainable Communities Investment Plan for the receipt of tax increment funds for
development in Transit
Priority Project Areas, small walkable
communities, and clean energy manufacturing sites. To form a
Sustainable Communities Investment Authority to carry out the
Community Redevelopment Law and include a statement of how the Plan will
relieve blight including how it will
implement the goals of the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS)
designed to achieve the Air Resources Board (ARB)
targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction.
ARB Research Project Search Results
The Transportation Sector accounts for the largest share (37%)
of California’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 27% from light duty
Since 2003, the most important energy-saving factor has been
the increase in new-vehicle fuel economy.
The new federal fuel economy standards will lead to at least 25% lower energy
use and emissions in the future. However, these fuel economy standards are not
sufficient to achieve the state’s 2050 GHG goals of reducing GHG emissions to
80% below 1990 levels. Even the more immediate 2020 passenger vehicle emission
targets of 5 million megatons of GHG reductions cannot be achieved without
better integrated land use development patterns in coordination with
As stated in the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR),
further research on land use and the impacts of development is necessary
to both explain and quantify potential energy savings from better community
design and integrated land use and transportation practices. Analytical data,
scenario-based tools, methods, case studies, and a statewide model are needed to
assist Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs)
and local governments in developing regional land use strategies to further
reduce both Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and GHG emissions.
There is little research that accounts for the total energy used
in community systems, broadly defined to include all processes and products
across geographically defined California communities. Many state programs and
policies to reduce GHG emissions are implemented as single programs in
isolation. Interdisciplinary research is needed to monitor their effectiveness.
There is a need to expand on available research data on this subject and to
comprehensively investigate the relationships among
location, type of development, and energy use. A more coordinated and
integrated understanding of the total energy and GHG emissions associated with
transportation is needed, including the embedded energy in the vehicles and
Local elected officials, planners, consultants, policy-makers,
and developers often lack guidance on how to translate state policies and
regional plans into development criteria for individual cities and projects.
Land use planning, natural resource management, economic development, and
physical infrastructure planning are typically fragmented between different
public agencies at the city, county, regional, and state levels. Existing
planning tools are often ill-suited to support land-use decision makers in local
governments to engage in an integrated sustainable energy systems approach.
Research is needed to help California communities become more
sustainable. The research sponsored by this agreement will produce insights,
syntheses, and tools that directly support the "technology transfer and
outreach" of the sustainable energy systems approach to local government
planners and decision-makers. The research findings will be made available to
practitioners and local governments through a variety of technology transfer
Senate Bill (SB) 375 targets
reduction of GHG emissions from the transportation sector by reducing VMT. SB
375 seeks to reduce VMT by curbing auto-oriented development patterns and
instead focusing on alternative transportation modes such as transit bicycling
and walking. Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a key strategy being used to
encourage these alternative modes. TOD coordinates transit, biking, and walking
facilities with housing and mixed use development to make these modes attractive
alternatives to driving. TOD practices can reduce VMT by 5-30% compared to
typical sprawl development practices.
Changes in automobile and truck transportation can reduce VMTs and contribute
to a reduction in GHG emissions. Land use planning could have a major impact on
VMT. The purpose of this agreement is to fund a multi-campus
California Center for Sustainable Communities (CCSC)
that will synthesize, coordinate, and communicate sustainable energy systems
research and development to benefit California. The University of California,
Los Angeles (UCLA) Institute of the Environment
will lead the CCSC and will be the point of contact for all of the research
performed within the CCSC.
The CCSC will:
- (1) provide data, tools, methods, models, and case studies that will
assist communities in implementing alternative forms of transportation such as
public transit, bicycling, and walking;
- (2) reduce the use of automobiles and trucks, GHG, VMT; and
- (3) increase the overall energy sustainability of cities by better land
use planning and community systems design.
Goals of the Agreement
||Develop a UC-wide center led by UCLA to
conduct and coordinate a set of research activities recommended by the
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER)
Transportation program’s research roadmap,
Creating Sustainable Energy Systems in California’s Communities,
CEC#500-2012-002, based on Urban Metabolism.
Urban Metabolism is a framework that accounts for the environmental,
economic, and social flows into and out of a region to assess
||The CCSC will be organized in a
hub and spoke model with UCLA as the central hub and the Center Director
ensuring consistency, cohesion and synthesis in communication between
researchers and external stakeholders. The campus partners will function as
co-equal spokes conducting independent, but related research.
||The agreement ($1.9 million) will be awarded
to the UC Regents on behalf of UCLA. The UCLA Contract Administrator and/or
Accounting/Invoicing Department will be responsible for distributing the
funds among the campus partners (UC
Berkeley and UC Davis)
on a quarterly basis. The UCLA Center Program Manager will
work with the UCLA Contract Administrator and/or Accounting/Invoicing
Department on coordinating the invoices/progress reports, and will send them
to the Energy Commission’s Contract Manager to review and approve.
||Create an information hub for sustainable
communities research and best practices occurring across the State. The
information hub will serve as a resource for legislators,
MPOs, local governments, academics, and others seeking information on the
latest findings in the field.
||Provide timely, valuable, and unbiased
information for policymakers, industry professionals, consumers, and
relevant stakeholders on impacts of land use on California’s energy
||Support local governments and regional MPOs in
the creation of resource-efficient communities that encourage alternative
forms of transportation (such as public transit,
bicycling, and walking), reduce the use of automobiles
and trucks, and increase the overall energy sustainability of cities
by better land use planning and systems design.
||Provide tools and methods to help MPOs meet
the requirements of SB 375.
||Develop a rating system for pedestrian
||Provide a guidebook for
California city attorneys on best practices
for resource- efficient street design.
||Create tools that make research accessible
across three related areas:
- (1) the demand for electric vehicles;
- (2) the usage patterns of electric vehicles;
- (3)the charging infrastructure necessary to serve
||•Support implementation of the State of
California’s energy efficiency and GHG laws and regulatory standards, and
identify means by which community design can make specific contributions to
||•Communicate research findings to local
governments, regional agencies, developers, and other key actors in the
planning and development process.
Objectives of the Agreement
Reduced energy use through improved community design and integrated land
use and transportation practices.
Reduced vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions through more sustainable
land use and transportation planning.
Reduced legal and policy barriers to resource-efficient communities and
Increased prevalence of pedestrian friendly street environments through
use of a rating system for pedestrian environments and thermal comfort
Faster adoption of lower emission electric
vehicles by providing tools that will help municipalities provide