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Partners for Climate Protection

City of London, ON

Milestone Five

Population PCP member since GHG reduction target Target reached
366,151 1994 The City of London strives for the Province of Ontario's GHG targets: 6% below 1990 GHG emissions levels by 2014, 15% by 2020, and 80% by 2050. In 2012 energy use per capita was 12% below 1990 levels, with transportation and residential energy reductions leading the way. Thanks in part to a warmer-than-average winter and a cleaner provincial electricity supply, overall 2012 GHG emissions were 10% lower than in 1990.

"Many of the activities we've done were not originally in our business plan for that year; the opportunities just arose. It can appear chaotic and uncoordinated, but it's amazing what progress you can make when opportunities arise that fit within your overall goals."
Jamie Skimming, manager, air quality, City of London

 

London's greenhouse gas reduction efforts can be traced back as far as its Vision '96 — Planning for Tomorrow activities and more recently to its 2003 Air Quality in London — Moving Forward Locally air quality plan. This latter strategy was part of a broader environmental program encompassing all areas of sustainability, and is encapsulated in the city's 2011–2014 Strategic Plan. The strategy is complemented by Rethink Energy London, a program that supports community and corporate energy initiatives, and by the Mayor's Sustainable Energy Council, a 30-member expert panel that supports local sustainable energy projects.

Reducing energy use and costs drives many of London's initiatives. Among these are a building retrofit program, a landfill gas capture system, LED traffic signals, and partnerships with local utilities and homebuilders to help residents lighten their carbon footprint.

"Sustainable energy and new energy production and distribution technologies are critical elements of a growing and vibrant economy," said Mayor Joe Fontana. "We must encourage Londoners to employ sustainable energy, wherever possible. This is our reality — it's not down the road; it is here and now."

Key projects and results

Stoney Creek Community Centre

The Stoney Creek Community Centre is a LEED Gold certified 84,000+ square foot building that includes a community centre, YMCA and library. This capital project was supported by $2.3 million in GMF grants and loans (GMF 10078) and other funding programs.

Environmental

  • High-efficiency HVAC and lighting systems plus optimized building and service designs, resulting in 440 tonnes less GHG emissions per year
  • Green roof, rainwater capture and storage, and low-flow fixtures, resulting in 40% less water consumption
  • 20 per cent local materials used and 75 per cent less construction waste was sent to landfill

Economic

  • Energy savings of over 8,900 gigajoules in the first year of operation (55 per cent savings over standard construction)

Social

  • Centre is one of the most popular facilities in London
  • YMCA issued memberships at nearly double its sales target
  • Library visit rates rose and more than 19,000 new library cards were requested

London Energy Efficiency Partnership

The London Energy Efficiency Partnership is a builder-led program that evaluates sustainable housing technologies and techniques and provides a toolkit to local home builders. It received funding through GMF (GMF 9085) and Natural Resources Canada.

Environmental

  • ENERGY STAR® homes produce 2-3 tonnes less emissions, on average, than non-ENERGY STAR® homes and provide a healthier indoor environment
  • London has one of the highest rates of ENERGY STAR® new home developments in Ontario

Economic

  • Marketing energy efficiency helps homebuilders sell higher value products and services
  • Green homes are less expensive to operate
  • Increased testing and use of new technologies in the London home building marketplace

Social

  • London Home Builders' Association sold its Green Home in 2013, showcasing many LEEP-TAP technologies

Integrated energy mapping

London was one of four Ontario cities to participate in the integrated energy mapping project, which incorporates energy issues into city planning (GMF 10311).

Environmental

  • Energy maps and models of baseline and future scenarios will form the basis of London's upcoming community energy plan

Economic

  • Maps are used to target current and future energy conservation projects and to set priorities for the city's community energy plan.
  • Building and renewable energy technology strategies will help move London about 45 per cent towards its 2030 GHG reduction goals

Social

  • Maps are used at public events to help engage the public on actions they can take


Challenges

  • Financing program activities is an ongoing challenge, but London has partnerships with local utilities, homebuilders, and other stakeholders to cut costs.
  • Catching and keeping people's attention can be difficult.  To overcome this, the city's environmental programs staff work to "connect the dots," linking people to the right programs and experts.

Lessons learned

  • Social media is not a magic bullet. Municipalities need to determine what will resonate with the right people.
  • Always consider the biggest bang for the buck. For example, instead of conventional advertising, consider investing in a community project that garners "earned media" and builds goodwill in the community.
  • Although tracking energy can be a complicated process, with many variables, it allows managers to monitor and verify project savings and measure progress.

Page Updated: 17/09/2015