What is a community Energy Plan?
A Community Energy Plan (CEP) is an integrated, comprehensive, long-term plan to meet local energy needs while improving energy and water efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fostering local sustainable and community supported energy solutions in a municipality. Community Energy Planning takes an integrated approach to local energy planning by aligning energy, infrastructure and land use planning to help meet community energy goals and reduce GHG emissions. As part of the City of Hamilton’s strategic priority to become a clean and green city that is environmentally sustainable, and as part of the City’s Community Climate Change Action Plan to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to a changing climate, the City has initiated a process to develop a CEP with the input of energy stakeholders and the community.
Why is a Community Energy Plan important in Hamilton?
By year 2041, the City is expected to grow to achieve a population of 780,000 and 350,000 jobs. Most of this growth will be achieved through intensification, as such by 2031, and for each year thereafter, a minimum of 60 per cent of all residential development will occur within the built-up area. The intent of the CEP is to develop an action plan based on community priorities around energy and water with a goal to improve efficiency, cut GHG emissions, increase the use of renewable energy, achieve energy security, and drive economic development. Through the implementation of the CEP, Hamilton is expected to benefit from establishing a healthier community; supporting the development of complete, compact and healthy communities; keeping energy investments locally; supporting local businesses to reduce energy costs and encourage new investments; contributing to local job creation and energy costs savings; and, reducing energy spending for residents while increasing property values.
The City’s Climate Change Action Plan has set the following targets:
|20% reduction in GHG emissions from 2006 levels by 2020
50% reduction in GHG emissions from 2006 levels by 2030
80% reduction in GHG emissions from 2006 levels by 2050
In order for the community to reach these targets, it is critical to focus on our community’s energy consumption.
What actions has the City of Hamilton taken to complete the CEP?
The City of Hamilton has initiated the process of creating a CEP by creating a benchmark with its Energy Mapping Strategy. Click here to view the document.
What is coming forward from the Province?
The province of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan includes the establishment of a green bank. This green bank will help citizens to finance energy-efficient technologies, which will in turn lower our community’s energy consumption. It is also encouraging the use of electric vehicles and is investing in infrastructure for charging electric vehicles which in turn will lower our city’s fuel consumption. The Province is also enforcing the Cap and Trade program, which encourages corporations to lower their energy use and acts as an investment to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
Municipalities with Community Energy Plans
Other municipalities have already created and initiated their CEP’s. Click on the links below to check them out:
Kingston (Expected to be complete October 2017)