Project San Diego Resident

Project San Diego supports the entire community of San Diego to work collectively to reduce emissions of the city. However, collective actions in a community must be supported by wise decisions of each resident in that community, since it ultimately is each resident that puts in motion the activities which cause emissions. Therefore, at CCRM we also maintain a program to support individuals and/or businesses in their efforts to reduce emissions.

More than one person?

Are you the owner/manager of a large complex of properties, such as an apartment or condo building? We can create a free, bespoke model and web portal your residents can use to assess the carbon footprint of each property and the complex as a whole. We would also provide support to help the residents identify the most effective, and cost-effective, strategies of carbon reduction. Contact Us for details. 
Actions to reduce your personal carbon emissions requires first understanding where these emissions take place. What are you doing that causes these emissions, and how can you reduce these through behavior change, improved energy efficiency of your property and goods (such as appliances), in the source of energy you use, and in your choice of mode of travel? To support you in taking the necessary steps for reduction, we have created a simpler version of the Project San Diego Community model to produce the carbon footprint for individual property residents or families. It is also suited to use by owners of businesses. You will simply need your electricity and natural gas bills for the past year, as well as an estimate of how much you drive, or travel more generally. You will need to run the model twice: once to establish your baseline (your carbon emissions today), and once with estimates of how you will change your behavior, energy efficiency and/or energy source. The Project San Diego Resident model can be downloaded for free HERE

If you are not comfortable with an EXCEL model, and are willing to take out a calculator and go it alone, here are the steps for the Project San Diego Resident model (but not for the Project San Diego model at the top of this page):

Step 1: Find your electricity use, in kilowatt-hours over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.00022 tons of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from electricity use.

Step 2: Find your natural gas use, in kilowatt-hours over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000206 tons of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from natural gas use.

Step 3: Determine the number of kilometers you drove last year in a petrol car. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000182 tons of carbon dioxide per kilometer. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from driving the average petrol vehicle. Now do the same for diesel vehicles, motorcycles, vans, buses, and trains, but use the emissions factors of 0.000168, 0.000108, 0.000267, 0.000182 and 0.000078, respectively. Then add all of these six emissions together. This is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from commutes (defined broadly as any travel by these means that do not take you out of Southern California).

Step 4: Determine the number of kilometers you drove last year in a petrol car when travelling away from Southern California (perhaps on a vacation or business trip). Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.000182 tons of carbon dioxide per kilometer. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from driving the average petrol vehicle. Now do the same for diesel vehicles, motorcycles, vans, buses, trains, air travel of less than 1000 km and air travel of greater than 1000 km,  but use the emissions factors of 0.000168, 0.000108, 0.000267, 0.000182, 0.000078, 0.000098 and 0.00011, respectively. Then add all of these eight emissions together. This is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from travel out of the Southern California region.

Step 5: Find your amount of streaming of on-line videos, in hours over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 0.0004 tons of carbon dioxide per hour of streaming. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from streaming videos. These emissions are not in your home use of electricity, but rather at the location of the servers of the streaming service. But you are responsible for them! A caveat, though: the streaming companies are rapidly expanding their creation of low carbon energy supplies to reduce these emissions. We at CCRM will update this number as new data become available.

Step 6: Guess at the amount of biodegradable waste you sen to the landfill, in tons of such waste over the past year. Multiply this by an emissions factor of 1.02 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of biodegradable waste. This product is your annual carbon dioxide emissions in tons per year from biodegradable waste you send to a landfill.

Step 7: Add together the final numbers from these six steps above to obtain your total carbon footprint. Which of these contributions is largest? What can you do to reduce those emissions? 

Taking Action

Heating, cooling, lighting and plug load (for example, appliances) of buildings account for more than half of the energy and carbon dioxide emissions of communities globally. There is a pressing need to significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings, allowing the same levels of comfort and convenience while reducing carbon dioxide emissions from this sector. This will be accomplished both by the design of new buildings and the retrofit of existing buildings. Effective decarbonization should proceed in the following way:

Priority 1: Change your behavior. Are you too cold in the house? Put on a light sweater rather than turning up the thermostat. Are you finished with whatever you were doing in a room? Turn off the lights as you leave. 

Priority 2: Having changed behavior, look at the energy you still require. Use that energy efficiently. Insulate your building. Replace the boiler with a high efficiency version. Replace  light bulbs with LEDs.

Priority 3: Bring in low carbon energy. Whatever energy needs remain after the first two priorities have been met, supply it with energy that is low carbon emissions per MWh (megawatt-hour) of energy. A reasonable target is less than 100 kgCO2 per MWh.

Investors tend to run straight to Priority 3 because they can see how to turn a profit on selling low carbon energy. The result: we pump low carbon energy into a sieve, with that energy coming back out through the walls, windows and doors of buildings. So behavioral change should be followed by retrofits, and only then by low carbon energy. However, we are pragmatic at the CCRM, and so we will support actions on any of these three priorities, in whatever order you choose to act.