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Comparing energy efficiency in the San Gabriel Valley


We’ve launched a new project for PMC, a consulting firm that advises municipalities on things like transit policy and energy use. Energy Efficiency in San Gabriel Valley looks at a variety of cities in southern California and reports how much electricity and natural gas people used, how far they drove, how much waste they generated, and other metrics. We compare each city to the others in the Valley, to LA and SoCal as a whole when we can, and plot these metrics on an interactive map and series of charts below. It works best in Google Chrome, as PMC’s initial use for the project is aconference on energy efficiency and climate change, held last week in Monrovia.

We’re using terrain background tiles, with terrain-lines overlaid), for the base maps. The outlines are loosely based on the municipality boundaries, and fill up and empty out based on whatever metric’s being compared. La Cañada, Flintridge and Irwindale have the highestVehicle Miles Traveled counts, and we think this is because they’re furthest away from the center of the Valley:

VMT map

Measuring like this shows outliers pretty clearly. “Rock quarries dominate the small community of Irwindale, but the city is planning to attract more diverse land uses as some of the mines begin to close,” and you can see this reflected in the Waste per Job statistics for that city. It also has many more jobs than it does residents, by about 13 to 1.

Irwindale waste

Further down on the page, the whole site is clickable, sortable, and otherwise interactive. Selecting a stat down below pivots all the rest of the data, so every location becomes a potential jumping off point for more comparisons.

Irwindale VMT
Irwindale waste

Compare the more industrial cities to largely residential ones, and the wealthier cities start to emerge, like Bradbury. With the smallest population, but highest residential electricity use, larger homes are implied.

Or, you can infer that La Puente is fairly “self-reliant”, and people tend to stay nearby, since they travel the least:

The editorial is pretty terrific as well: who knew that Baldwin Park is the home of the first Drive-In restaurant in California (In-N-Out), and the best performing city in the Residential Gas category?

Published: 10.01.12
Updated: 12.08.21

About Stamen

Stamen is a globally recognized strategic design partner and one of the most established cartography and data visualization studios in the industry. For over two decades, Stamen has been helping industry giants, universities, and civic-minded organizations alike bring their ideas to life through designing and storytelling with data. We specialize in translating raw data into interactive visuals that inform, inspire and incite action. At the heart of this is our commitment to research and ensuring we understand the challenges we face. We embrace ambiguity, we thrive in data, and we exist to build tools that educate and inspire our audiences to act.