Presentation and tipsheet for the Inside Energy presentation at CAR16 in Denver
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24 (Data-Driven) Energy Stories You Can Tell About Your Community

Tipsheet and presentation materials for the Inside Energy session at CAR16 in Denver.

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Table of links and resources

Number Topic Description Story examples Key Datasets and Sources
1 Household electricity consumption How much electricity does the average household use each month? And what are we doing with that electricity? Inside Energy: "How Much Electricity Do You Use Each Month?"; Inside Energy: "A Watched Pot" EIA: Electricity Data Browser
2 Cost of a kilowatt hour where you live Where is energy the most expensive? Cheapest? We can see some of these trends through state-by-state electricity prices. And are they changing over time? Wallet Hub: "2015's Most & Least Energy-Expensive States EIA Electric Power Monthly; Also check out your state's public utility commission, ask utilities directly
3 Power generation in your state What's the electricity generation mix in each state: coal, hydro, natural gas, wind, solar, etc.? And how has that mix changed over time? NPR: "Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Hydro? How Your State Generates Power" EIA: State Data Profiles
4 Rooftop solar in your state Nationally, rooftop solar panels have taken off in a curve that mirrors adoption of the iPod. Is this true in your state? How quickly is solar coming to your neighborhood? Inside Energy: "The Solar Challenge" - ongoing coverage Lawrence Berkeley Lab: "Tracking the Sun" annual report
5 Energy storage projects Being able to store electricity for use later is key to bringing renewables onto the grid in a reliable way. How many projects are there? How big? As energy storage becomes the hottest topic on the utility side, you can track projects. Inside Energy: "We Can Send A Probe To Pluto, But Energy Storage Remains Elusive" DOE: Global Energy Storage Projects and Policies Database
6 Smart meters in your state How well does your utility track your energy use? And how much information do the consumers (that's us) have access to? And once we've got smart meters, what comes next? Inside Energy: "Why Smart Meters Don't Make A Smart Grid"; [FPL touts $46 million in 2015 operational savings due to smart meters] ( EIA: Form 861 Power Sector Data; DOE: Database of grants for smart grid projects through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009; Often state public utility commissions track smart meter penetration
7 Electric grid reliability data (blackouts, SAIDI/SAIFI) How often does the power go out where you live, and for how long? Is your utility keeping the promises it makes to its customers? Inside Energy: "How Long Is Your Blackout?" EIA: Form 861 Power Sector Data - for 2013 and 2014; For older years, contact your state public utility commission directly
8 Squirrels causing power outages "I don't think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels." - John C. Inglis, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency Washington Post: "A terrifying and hilarious map of squirrel attacks on the U.S. power grid" Cyber Squirrel, compendium of news reports about animals taking out power
9 Electric car sales How many electric cars are people buying? What's the trend? Are they more or less popular in y our state than in the rest of the contry? Bloomberg: "Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis"; Cleantechnica: "Electric Car Sales Up 1.1% In US In Sept, But The Story Is Complicated"; Inside Energy: "Things You Always Wanted To Know About Electric Cars But Were NOT Afraid To Ask"EIA: "California leads the nation in the adoption of electric vehicles" Electric Drive Transportation Association, monthly sales dashboard; To give you an idea for the complexity of the EV sales landscape, here's an except from Argonne National Lab's analysis: "Sales data are compiled from several sources at different points in time. Initially, the data were compiled from J.D. Power and associates’ sales reports, and Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) and HEV manufacturers’ information. Later, the data were supplied by Green Car Congress. Currently, the data are collected from Hybrid Market Dashboard. Civic hybrid sales are as reported by Honda in 2003 and 2004. Data from 2005 and later represent sales as reported by EDTA, Hybrid Dashboard, and Green Car Congress. The Escape, Highlander, RX 400h, Camry, and GS 450h hybrid sales represent registration information from EDTA through 2006. The 2007 Escape and GS450h sales data are from Green Car Congress. Accord hybrid sales data are from EDTA and Green Car Congress. The 2007 Vue hybrid sales data are from EDTA (January to May only), and later sales data are from Hybrid Dashboard and Green Car Congress. These numbers are by calendar year, not by model year as reported by the U.S. EPA in its “Light Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends Report.” The HEV percent shares reported by U.S. EPA are for vehicles weighing <=8,500 lbs. while shares reported here are for vehicles weighing <=10,000 lbs. The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) at the Department of Energy website also provides annual HEV sales data."
10 Vehicle miles per person in your state We live in the land of the car. But is that changing? See what the data says about our personal driving habits. The Atlantic: "Crash: The Decline of U.S. Driving in 6 Charts" U.S. Department of Transportation indicators for states, MSAs, urbanized areas
11 Gas tax in your state How does your state tax gasoline? Has it changed over time? How does it compare to the rest of the country? Inside Energy: "Why Gas Taxes Won't Fix Our Infrastructure Problem" American Petroleum Institute: Motor Fuel Taxes annual report
12 Rig count Where are oil and gas companies drilling (or not drilling) right now? Bloomberg: "Watch Five Years of Oil Drilling Collapse in Seconds" Baker Hughes, North America Rig Count
13 Earthquakes in oil and gas areas What's the connection between seismic activity and fracking? Reveal: "Oklahoma's Manmade Earthquakes"; Reveal: "Watch Oklahoma's Earthquake Explosion" UC Berkeley Seismology Lab - compiles USGS data
14 Pipelines There are millions of miles of pipelines in the US, and frequent spills and explosions. What is a particular company's track record? How many miles of pipeline are in your state? How old are the pipelines your state? Inside Energy: "The Pipeline Network" - ongoing coverage Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
15 Oil spills Companies spill oil almost every day, but are rarely fined for those spills. How many spills were there in your state last year? What caused them? New York Times: "Reported Environmental Incidents in North Dakota's Oil Industry"; New York Times: "The Downside of the Boom"; Inside Energy: "The Oilfield Spill Problem" - ongoing coverage varies by state, request from oil and gas regulator, environmental regulator
16 Bankruptcy This dataset is a rabbit hole of bankruptcy info going back to 1980. Lots of good context for the coal industry's collapse. Inside Energy: "As Coal Mining Continues, What Does Bankruptcy Mean On The Ground?" UCLA-LoPucki Bankruptcy Research Database
17 Energy jobs How many people are employed in the various energy sectors (coal, oil and gas, utilities, solar, clean tech)? How have those numbers changed over time? Inside Energy: "What Is The Real Impact Of Low Oil Prices On Hiring?" Bureau of Labor Statistics - all data dools; BLS - Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; U.S. Census Bureau
18 Collapse of coal SNL: "Coal jobs cut at an increasing rate through 2015 as US production is slashed" EIA Coal Data Browser
19 Clean Power Plan and your state What is your state's current electricity mix and carbon intensity, what are its goals, and what are the strategies it is considering for meeting that goals? Is your state suing, or not suing? Is your state moving forward with plans despite the SCOTUS stay? Inside Energy: "Clean Power Plan Visualized" U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan Targets and Baseline, as compiled by Inside Energy; ACEEE State and Utility Pollution Reduction Calculator
20 Campaign financing - donations from energy companies Which candidates and ballot meatures are supported by oil and gas, by renewables, by clean teach, etc. in your state? [Inside Energy: "More Money to Fight Over, More Money To Fight With"] ( Center for Money in State Politics; Center for Responsive Politics/
21 Mutual fund investments in fossil fuels If you have a retirement fund, then you, personally, own a piece of oil and gas. Inside Energy: "Who Owns Oil And Gas?"; Inside Energy: "This Animation Explains How You Are Invested In Oil And Gas"; Inside Energy: "Do It Yourself, 9 Steps To Deconstruct Your Oil And Gas Investments" Fossil Free Funds
22 Climate risk disclosures from public companies When did fossil fuel companies begin to disclose climate change as a major risk in their 10-Ks? [Wyoming Public Radio: Peabody Reaches Agreement Over Climate Change Disclosures] (; Wyoming Public Radio: "Peabody Attempts To Stay Out Of Bankruptcy" U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission
23 Energy used for digital tech/computing As energy use drops in most sectors, there's an area where it's rising rapidly: The energy used for digital computing. Data center electricity use has tripled since 2000. Inside Energy: "Wyoming Hosts First Waste-Powered Data Center In The US" Ask your state or local chamber of commerce/business council if they compile information on data centers
24 Energy inputs in food Calorie for calorie, which foods take the most energy to produce? Inside Enegy: "Quiz: How Much Energy Does It Take To Make Your Food?" Dig through lifecycle analysis research papers

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