Traditionally, Canadian communities have planned for buildings, transportation, land use and waste in silos. The way in which communities are planned locks in energy and emissions impacts for decades. There is an untapped opportunity to integrate buildings, transportation, land use, waste and water systems to achieve greater energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions and drive economic development.17The QUEST Smart Energy Community Technical and Policy Principles offer a basis to achieve better integration among these systems. The principles are available at http://www.questcanada.org/thesolution/principles-smart-energy-communities
Over 200 communities across Canada, representing more than 50 percent of the population, have developed a CEP to transition and integrate the way energy is planned for and used across the community.18As of September 2015.
CEPs are often led and implemented by local governments in partnership with a broad range of community stakeholders, including energy distribution companies, the real estate sector, the private sector, NGOs and provincial/territorial governments.
CEPs often vary from community to community, however they contain many of the following common elements:
- Community-wide energy and/or GHG emissions inventories
- Energy conservation and/or GHG reduction targets, and in some cases sub-sector targets for the building, waste and transportation sectors
- Proposed community-wide actions and strategies to meet the targets, including but not limited to, energy efficiency in buildings, planning and policy measures, transportation (including public transit, active transportation, low carbon vehicles and other transportation actions), waste, distributed energy resources (including renewable energy, district energy and combined heat and power), and water conservation
- Analyses of the economic, environmental, health and social benefits of implementation
- Key Performance Indicators to allow the community to monitor and report on implementation
CEPs also vary with respect to the level of detail contained in energy inventories as well as how deeply the economic, environmental, health and social benefits of CEP implementation are analyzed.
Table 3 describes various approaches to CEP development as well as the resources required to develop and the type of information they provide. Communities should pursue an approach that aligns with the community’s priorities, size, demographics, and available resources.
Table 3: Approaches to Community Energy Planning19Adapted from: Community Energy Association. (2015, January 19). CCEM 101 Energy & Emissions Planning Module 3 – Selecting a CEEP Approach For Your Community.
|CEP Approach||Description||Community Size||Cost||Information Provided|
|Inventory||A community energy inventory is the first step in defining community needs around energy.||Any community size||$15,000-$20,000*Varies based on the level of detail (granularity), frequency of planned updates and the availability of data.||
|Get Started||Focusing on a specific project, initiative or opportunity can often be done expediently and economically and can help garner the support needed to develop a CEP. Consider the actions listed in Figure 6.||Any community size||Project cost||
|Practical Tactics||Communities with energy and emissions inventories can develop projections and a year-by-year implementation plan. This approach may include frequent involvement of elected officials, staff, and stakeholders. These plans can be renewed frequently (e.g. every 3-5 years).||50,000 or less||$5,000-$10,000**Assumes a community-wide energy inventory exists.||
|Targeted Plan||Larger communities can develop more comprehensive and long-term plans. This typically includes more stakeholder consultations and detailed projections. These plans can be renewed every 5-7 years.||100,000 or more||$50,000-$150,000||
|Comprehensive Plan||Communities with greater resources can include more comprehensive analyses when developing their CEP, including a broader range of energy end uses (e.g. food production).||250,000 or more||$100,000-$250,000||