Energy Efficiency

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 485–497 | Cite as

Spatial and temporal analysis of energy use data in Los Angeles public schools

  • Joshua Derenski
  • Erik PorseEmail author
  • Hannah Gustafson
  • Dan Cheng
  • Stephanie Pincetl
Original Article


School buildings are significant energy consumers. They are important targets for energy efficiency improvements, which can reduce energy spending and meet energy policy goals for state and federal governments. In the US, few studies have quantified electricity and natural gas consumption patterns in schools. Such information vitally supports energy planning and benchmarking. We present an analysis of high-detail electricity and natural gas consumption for schools in Los Angeles County over an extended period of time. Using a robust database of monthly account-level consumption, we examine electricity and natural gas consumption trends for hundreds of schools in relation to key structural and categorical characteristics, including size, geography, and school type. Results show that school energy use varies greatly across socio-demographic, structural, and climate factors. Correlations between electricity and natural gas consumption are time dependent and seasonally distinct. The analysis provides a useful case study with benchmarks for US public schools and demonstrates challenges with devising large-scale studies of school energy use. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications.


Electricity Natural gas Institutional buildings Elementary Secondary California 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marshall School of Business, Department of Data Sciences and OperationsUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.California Center for Sustainable CommunitiesUCLA Institute of the Environment and SustainabilityLos AngelesUSA

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