Building Healthier and More Energy-Efficient Communities in Fresno and the Central Valley

This project develops a community energy action plan for healthy and energy efficient communities in the Central Valley.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

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$964,691

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, in-home walk-throughs for collecting baseline equipment data and energy use information from residents in south Fresno has been replaced with remote data collection using phone interviews. In early 2020, the team completed a long form survey which was approved by the Human Subjects Committee at LBNL. Five pilot interviews were conducted by Rising Sun - a community-based organization - and the long form survey was adjusted based on the responses from the pilot survey. The research team has also compiled building data from publicly available sources, and the neighborhood-scale City-BES modeling tool (CityBES.lbl.gov) has been updated to include building data for south Fresno neighborhoods of interest. Data includes building vintages and floor sizes for all residential buildings.

The Issue

Fresno includes many disadvantaged communities with high unemployment and poor air quality, and its high pollution load contributes to adverse health outcomes. The disadvantaged communities in Fresno also suffer from lack of air conditioning or cannot afford to run air conditioning during hot summer months, which significantly impacts occupant health. At the same time, access to clean technology options (e.g. solar PV, major energy efficiency upgrades, battery-electric vehicles) is constrained in disadvantaged communities by many structural barriers.

Project Innovation

This project develops a holistic community action plan to achieve climate benefits and air quality improvements through energy efficiency measures, electrification, and distributed energy resources in the residential building and light-duty and medium-duty transportation sectors in the City of Fresno. Field surveys and validation testing provide inputs on appropriate implementation strategies and selection of systems and technologies to overcome barriers associated with site characteristics and user responses. Researchers monitor energy use in typical households within disadvantaged communities to inform analysis of energy programs.

Project Goals

Support the state’s policy goals by developing a holistic plan to improve access to clean energy technologies.

Project Benefits

This project provides state-of-the-art information and analyses on the impacts of prioritized and integrated energy efficiency, electrification, distributed energy resources, and battery electric vehicles in the Fresno area in relation to climate benefits and air quality improvements.

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