The City of St. Louis completed a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory[i] in 2005, 2010, and then again in 2015 to track energy consumption by sector over time. In the 2015 inventory, St. Louis’s residential sector accounted for 22% of annual emissions, as shown in Figure 5. Within the residential sector, electricity made up 71% of emissions. This totals 1,138,910 million tons of CO2 emissions in just residential electricity. The inventory is helpful to understand where St. Louis stands in the context of energy consumption and where it needs to improve.
Electricity Local[ii] compares Missouri’s electricity prices, consumption, and income levels to the national average. At 10.2c/kWh, the cost of electricity is 15% less than the national average. However, consumption in Missouri is 17% higher than the national average and ranks 17th in the nation. The higher consumption results in an average monthly electricity bill of $108/month, which is just slightly higher than the national average.
According to data[iii] published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state of Missouri had produced 76,644,899 tons of CO2 emissions in 2014. Due to its lack of clean energy usage, Missouri’s energy usage has a particularly high emission rate of 1,745 pounds per million Btus. The national average is 1,143 lb/MMBtu. Missouri’s electricity is sourced predominantly from coal and the state does not incorporate many renewable energy sources on a utility-scale.
In the analysis, Missouri’s utility scale emissions data will be used to calculate the emissions of a single-family home using purely utility power and quantify the environmental impact of adding a solar array.
The objective of this project is to connect environmental sustainability with restricted socioeconomic levels. St. Louis is a good candidate for sustainable projects because of its high emissions levels detailed in section 6.2 and socioeconomic diversity.
Figure 6 shows the income breakdown of St. Louis residents. With over one-fourth of St. Louis residents in the lowest income bracket, it is important to address how cost of living can be decreased. Energy savings are directly correlated with cost savings. Habitat for Humanity’s push for more energy efficient construction aimed to reduce both their environmental impact and the income percentage homeowners had to spend on utility bills.
[i] Dulle R. 2015 Greenhouse Gas EmissionsInventory Report for the City of St. Louis & Revision Of 2005 GHG Baseline Inventory. St. Louis Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, 2017.
[ii] “Saint Louis Electricity Rates”. Electricity Local, 2018.
[iii] “eGRID2014 State Emissions and Output Emissions Rates”. EPA, 2014.