Project Type: Research
LHB created and leads the Regional Indicators Initiative (RII), which provides Minnesota local governments with planning tools and actual results to measure progress toward their energy and carbon reduction goals. Initially created to collect and share community-wide data for several key metrics (energy, water, travel, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions), RII has now expanded to include additional tools that local governments can use to inform climate planning and action. The tools currently available include: data visualizations, case studies of exemplar cities, a wedge diagram tool, and energy planning templates.
The LHB-developed Wedge Tool allows users to explore a city’s potential energy futures through a web-based interactive diagram that shows forecasted city-wide greenhouse gas emissions from 2005-2040. The diagram includes baseline data and a business-as-usual forecast for over 50 Minnesota communities, options to set reduction targets, and multiple reduction “wedges” that are based on actions such as implementing neighborhood outreach programs, developing new citywide regulations, and supporting statewide policies.
By inputting levels of commitment to each building-energy reduction strategy, users are able to visualize the predicted impacts in real-time and prioritize high-impact strategies. The wedge diagram is intended to be a living tool that can be adapted each year as communities learn more about the impacts of their actions. The RII tools have been shared with local governments through a series of technical webinars and in-person presentations.