City of Guelph, Ontario
The City of Guelph Community Energy Initiative
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The City of Guelph's Community Energy Initiative (CEI) is the implementation phase of its 25-year Community Energy Plan. With a projected 50 per cent population growth by 2031, the city aims to reduce energy use by 50 per cent and cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 60 per cent. The initiative will see energy generated locally through renewable sources, combined heat and power, and waste heat recovery; and distribution through local systems using thermal energy networks and smart grid technologies. The city will accelerate conservation and efficiency measures in all sectors, accommodating population growth through increased density rather than expansion.
The CEI will have a significant impact on the local economy by ensuring a reliable and sustainable energy supply that keeps energy dollars local, attracts investment, and creates jobs. The initiative is integrated with Guelph's Community Engagement Framework and its Wellness Strategy. The Mayor's Task Force on Community Energy, a multi-stakeholder group that forms the core governance structure for the CEI, will ensure ongoing community engagement.
This project received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 7281).
- The city faces many growth-related pressures and will have to build an estimated 20,000 homes and 400,000 – 500,000 square metres of non-residential construction.
- Energy policy is set at the provincial level. Aligning municipal goals with provincial goals is an ongoing challenge.
- Diligence is required to build and maintain relationships in the community, and align partnership activities with the CEI's goals.
Identify data and information sources and establish long-term relationships to ensure consistent monitoring and reporting.
Work closely with a wide range of private-sector partners and understand their criteria and strategies for investment to access products and services that meet project-specific needs.
Establish relationships with provincial policy makers and regulators early in the planning process.
Create a collaborative governance structure to manage partnerships and oversee community-level implementation.