Creve Coeur is a suburban municipality in St. Louis County. It published its greenhouse gas inventory in 2008, using 2005 as its baseline year. Like Kansas City, Creve Coeur studied emissions and energy use from the whole community and from government operations. Additionally, because city leaders wanted to use the inventory to point the way to cost-effective reductions, the inventory also studied energy costs on the government side.
Taking the community side first: in 2005, total Creve Coeur community emissions were 794,963 metric tons of CO2e, deriving primarily from the consumption of 6,984,371 million Btu of energy. This represented 46.94 metric tons of CO2e per capita.
The first graph shows community emissions and energy use by sector. The largest portion of emissions in Creve Coeur came from commercial buildings (>42% of all emissions), while the largest portion of energy consumption came from transportation. Creve Coeur has a large commercial sector, and the daytime population is much larger than the nighttime population. Creve Coeur has only a small industrial sector, so its contribution to emissions was small. Waste, as we have also seen in other inventories, made only a very small contribution to emissions.
The next graph shows community emissions and energy consumption by source. Consumption of electricity accounted for the most GHG emissions, but transportation fuels (gasoline and diesel combined) accounted for the largest amount of energy consumed. This pattern occured because generating electricity is inefficient, and additional waste occurs during transmission and use. Per Btu of energy consumed in Creve Coeur, electricity appears to have been almost three times as GHG intense as transportation fuels, and four times as intense as natural gas.This finding also explains why commercial buildings accounted for the biggest portion of Creve Coeur’s emissions, but a smaller fraction of energy consumption: commercial buildings primarily consume electricity.
The next graphs show emissions from Creve Coeur government operations in 2005. The first shows the fraction of emissions attributable to each sector of government operations, while the one after it shows energy consumption and costs. Government buildings were the largest source of GHG emissions, energy use, and energy costs. But their fraction declined from emissions to energy use, to energy costs.
Here is how I understand this pattern: the buildings used a significant amount of energy. To provide this energy, they consumed mostly electricity, which is GHG intense. Thus, their portion of emissions was even higher than their portion of energy consumption. However, electricity is a relatively inexpensive fuel source. Thus, their portion of expenses was less than the portion of energy consumed.
Costs to purchase fuel for employee commute are born by the employees, who fuel their own vehicles. Though it was a significant source of emissions and energy use, it was not a cost born by the government itself.
Creve Coeur has not yet performed a follow-up GHG inventory, but it has reviewed its purchase of electricity and natural gas at its three major government facilities. These informal reviews suggest that between 2005 and 2010, Creve Coeur reduced its energy costs at these facilities by 25%, implying even larger reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions. Way to go, Creve Coeur.
City of Creve Coeur, Missouri, Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for 2005. As of this posting it is available at http://www.creve-coeur.org/index.aspx?NID=150.
Source for population: Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Missouri, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/popest/data/cities/totals/2006/SUB-EST2006-4.html.