Descriptive Title: Residential natural gas usage per capita

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Zip code

Table 1. San Francisco Residential Natural Gas Use
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2013 2014
Total THM Usage** 145,326,408 145,755,559 148,383,281 149,393,491 148,296,096 149,764,406 117,223,936 100,589,797
Residential Natural Gas Emissions
(Metric ton of CO2)
771,683 773,962 787,915 793,279 787,452 795,249 622,459 534,132
** THM is the Therms of hours of natural gas usage.
Table 2. San Francisco Natural Gas Use by Sector, 2014
  Total THM Usage % by Sector
Residential 100,589,797 72%
Non-Residential 38,979,679 28%
Total 139,569,476 100%
Table 3. Residential per Capita Natural Gas Use (2014)
Zip Code THM per Capita
San Francisco 123
94102

 115

94103

 100

94104

-  

94105

57

94107

79

94108

114

94109

175

94110

101

94111

42

94112

88

94114

164

94115

175

94116

105

94117

145

94118

154

94121

137

94122

118

94123

220

94124

90

94127

165

94129

-  

94130

-  

94131

148

94132

113

94133

116

94134

88

94158

-  

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Lower natural gas use in buildings results in the reduced combustion of fossil fuels. Natural gas combustion produces both carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The extraction of natural gas can also have significant impacts on the environment by destroying habitat for animals and plants.  Energy efficient buildings reduce natural gas use, which include less particulates and pollutants that can improve health and outdoor air quality. The combustion of natural gas also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and to changes in the earth's carbon cycle and climate. On a carbon-equivalent basis, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions accounted for 81%  of U.S. anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2010.a

Climate change threatens health through the potential of more extreme weather events, increased air pollution, limitations on food production, increased water-borne and food-borne illnesses, and increased infectious disease vectors. For the major fossil fuels, the amounts of carbon dioxide produced for each billion Btu (British thermal units) of heat energy extracted are: 208,000 pounds for coal, 164,000 pounds for petroleum products, and 117,000 pounds for natural gas. Because natural gas is non-renewable and has relatively better environmental performance as a fuel, it will be important to conserve natural gas for the future.b

The benefits of energy efficiency go beyond environmental sustainability. Energy efficiency can have economic benefits for both residents and property managers by lowering utility bills. Furthermore, energy efficient design and construction techniques can contribute to the long term affordability of housing through lowered energy costs.

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

The above map illustrates disaggregated residential (single family and multi-family) natural gas use by zip code for 2014. Table 3 represents total per capita residential natural gas use for each zip code. Residential natural gas use per capita is highest in the northern zip codes of San Francisco, including 94123, 94115, and 94109. Neighborhoods within these zip codes include: Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Japantown, Western Addition, and Nob Hill. The zip codes with the lowest consumption include 94111, 94105, and 94107, which cover the neighborhoods Financial District/South Beach, Mission Bay, parts of South of Market, and Potrero Hill.

Many factors influence variation in energy usage, such as climate, age of housing (newer housing is often built with electric utilities), housing density (multifamily housing stays warmer because of heat migration), building design (newer housing has tighter building envelopes), socioeconomic factors, and conservation practices.

Table 1 illustrates  total residential usage and the corresponding CO2 emissions in San Francisco from 2005-2014. Since 2010, there appears to have been a noticeable drop in residential natural gas consumption in SF.  Table 2 shows average natural gas use by sector. In 2014, 72% of the natural gas is used for residential purposes, while non-residential use accounts for 28%.

Methods

Natural gas use by zip code was provided by Pacific Gas & Electric for 2013 and 2014. Total residential use was divided by the estimated population within each zip code to get the “Total Use per Capita.” The “Total Use per Capita” data was then mapped by zip code using ArcGIS software.

Limitations

Zip code data was not provided for zip codes with an insufficient number of residential customers to assure customer anonymity. 

Data Source

Natural gas usage by zip code provided by Pacific Gas & Electric Company, April 2015.

Interactive boundaries map

http://sfindicatorproject.org/resources/data_map_methods

  1. U.S. EPA. 2012 Draft U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report: Energy. February 2012. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads12/3.%20Energy.pdf. Accessed March 1, 2012.

  2. Natural Gas: 1998 Issues and Trends. U.S. Department of Energy. Washington, DC, 1999.