path for a sustainable future


The Energy element examines the impact that Onondaga County’s current development trends have on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly as they relate to residential development and the transportation system.

Energy is a fundamental aspect of sustainability. Without energy, we lose access to food, water, and other resources and opportunities that shape our quality of life. W e need to ensure that we have access to affordable, adequate, and appropriate energy services, while also reducing our energy use and mitigating the adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts from the development and provision of these services.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of our energy resources, it is important to reduce both the energy consumed and greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by buildings and by the transportation network – transportation and housing are two of the largest consumers of energy and contributors of GHG emissions in the U.S. It is also important to explore the viability of renewable energy projects to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Several issues and opportunities relating to Energy were identified over the course of the planning process. A sample key findings is provided below. To review the complete report, follow the link to the right.

Key Findings

  • Although newer homes are often more energy efficient than older homes, they are also more likely to be located further from employment centers, consume more energy, and produce more emissions as a whole than households located closer to jobs.

  • The implementation of Smart Growth principles and green building standards together can reduce the amount of energy consumed and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the housing and transportation sectors.

  • Opportunities for a variety of renewable energy sources exist in Onondaga County. This includes small-scale community-based wind power, photovoltaic panels, biomass, geothermal and other biofuels.