Yes, L.A.'s Rich Consume 3 Times as Much Electricity
If you're a little wary whenever a rich celebrity tries to tell you how to live, you should be.
You see, despite their Teslas and solar panels, the rich use a hell of a lot more electricity than you do. Maybe you should be speaking to them about how to live.
The new L.A. Energy Atlas, described by its creators at UCLA as "a free, searchable database that combines never-before-released data from energy utilities with public records," proves it.
Researchers at the university's California Center for Sustainable Communities say the database shows, for example, that the average Malibu resident uses 10 times as much electricity as the average dweller in the city of Bell in Southeast L.A. County.
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In fact, citizens of the 'Bu, home of some pretty serious mansions, use the most electricity per capita in Los Angeles County, UCLA says.
"Countywide," UCLA said in a statement, "wealthy areas consume more than three times as much energy as poor areas."
The researchers say that even though the homes of the non-rich are usually less energy-efficient, their smaller size more than makes up for that.
"While homes in many low-income neighborhoods are less efficient per square foot than homes in wealthy neighborhoods, well-off neighborhoods use more energy per person," the school says.
The database mashes up assessor records, census data and electricity and natural gas usage from 2006 to 2010, UCLA says. Only data for Azusa, Cerritos, the City of Industry, Pasadena and Vernon are not included.
Unfortunately, you're not able to zero in on one home like, say, that of Kim and Kanye. But you can get a general feel for a neighborhood.
"The database links energy usage to building characteristics and really allows the user to slice and dice the data," said Zoe Elizabeth, project director of the atlas. "Energy data has not historically been released at this level of detail, so for UCLA to gain access and make it transparent to everyone is a huge shift."
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