The Community Energy Implementation Framework is a guide intended to help communities move Community Energy Plans (CEPs) from a vision to implementation.
It includes 10 strategies that provide insights, advice and a proposed path forward to:
- Foster widespread political, staff and stakeholder support
- Build staff and financial capacity for implementation
- Embed energy into the plans, policies and processes of the local government
The Framework will answer questions such as:
- Who should lead the development and implementation of the CEP?
- What stakeholder groups should you engage with and when?
- How can you effectively communicate with various stakeholder groups to ensure meaningful engagement and input?
- What internal and external resources are available to support CEP implementation?
- How can local government staff incorporate energy into existing plans and policies?
- How can staff effectively monitor and report on implementation progress?
- And more!
Download instructions to learn about how to navigate the Framework here.
Download a PDF version of the Framework here.
Across Canada, more than 200 communities,1The term “local government” refers to a specific level of government. The term “community” or “communities” refers to all infrastructure and residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, transportation, utility, and agriculture activities within a given geographic (or municipal) boundary representing over 50 percent of the population, have a Community Energy Plan (CEP). See Figure 1.2 There are more than 100 CEPs under development across the country. There are 3 known CEPs under development in the Province of British Columbia, 74 CEPs under development in the Province of Ontario, 22 under development in the Province of Manitoba, 5 under development in Alberta and 1 under development in Saskatchewan. The growing number of CEPs as well as policies supporting CEPs are reflected in the GTI reports entitled National Report on Policies Supporting Community Energy Plan Implementation and Policies to Accelerate Community Energy Plans: An Analysis of British Columbia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories (www.gettingtoimplementation.ca/research).
Figure 1: Community Energy Plans across Canada
A CEP defines community priorities around energy with a view to improving energy efficiency, cutting GHG emissions, achieving resilience and driving economic development. There is growing acceptance among all levels of government, energy distributors,3Energy distributors are responsible for distributing electricity, natural gas and thermal energy from the point of supply and/or transmission, to the end user. the real estate sector and other stakeholders that CEPs provide a pathway for communities to become Smart Energy Communities. Smart Energy Communities:
- Integrate conventional energy networks (electricity, natural gas, district energy, and transportation fuel) to better match energy needs with the most efficient energy source
- Integrate land use
- Harness local energy opportunities
Smart Energy Communities can be characterized by six technical and six policy principles.
Canadian communities have an important role to play in energy. They influence nearly 60 percent of energy use and 50 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationally. Energy consumption and GHG emissions are attributed to the way energy is used to heat, cool and operate buildings, through the waste management process, as well as through land use and transportation. Figure 2 illustrates the proportion of energy used in communities and the way in which it is used. Figure 3 illustrates that energy use is growing in Canadian communities and could increase by about 75 percent by 2050 over 2006 levels under a business-as-usual scenario. Figure 4 illustrates the potential impact that local governments can have over energy end use in a community.
|Figure 2: Energy End Use in Canadian Communities8Natural Resources Canada (2012). Comprehensive Energy Use Database. Retrieved from http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/corporate/statistics/neud/dpa/trends_egen_ca.cfm. All energy use data was retrieved from Natural Resources Canada 2012 end use database. Energy used in communities includes: all residential and commercial energy end uses, transportation in communities (including energy used for cars, passenger light trucks, freight light trucks, medium trucks, motorcycles, school buses, urban transit, and passenger rail), industrial energy uses in communities (including construction, cement, and other manufacturing). Energy use outside communities includes transportation energy used for heavy trucks, inter-city buses, passenger air, freight air, freight rail, marine and off-road transportation, industrial energy used for pulp and paper, smelting and refining, petroleum refining, chemicals, iron and steel, forestry and mining industries, and total energy use for the agricultural sector.||Figure 3: Potential Increase in Energy Use in Communities across Canada9Council of Energy Ministers (September, 2009). Integrated Community Energy Solutions: A Roadmap for Action. Retrieved from https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/oee/pdf/publications/cem-cme/ices_e.pdf|
Figure 4: Local Government Influence on Energy End Use and GHG Emissions10QUEST (September 2010). Paper No. 2: Fuels & Technologies for Integrated Community Energy Solutions. http://www.questcanada.org/downloads/Fuels%20and%20Technologies%20for%20Integrated%20Community%20Energy%20Solutions.pdf
In addition to being one of the highest energy users per capita globally, Canadian communities have among some of the highest global energy costs per capita. Table 1 highlights average annual energy spending by businesses, households and governments in small, mid-sized and large Canadian communities. On average, a community of 100,000 can spend $400 million across the community on energy per year and much of that spending typically leaves the local economy.
Table 1: Annual Energy Spending in Small, Mid-sized and Large Communities11Community Energy Planning: The Value Proposition (www.gettingtoimplementation.ca/research).
|Community Size||Average Spending on Energy in the Community|
|Small Communities (less than 20,000 people)||Up to $80 million|
|Mid-sized Communities (20,000 – 100,000 people)||$40 million to $400 million|
|Large Communities (100,000 people to 2.5 million people)||$200 million to $10 billion|
Projected growth in energy consumption and the increasing costs associated with energy use are posing significant risks to Canadian communities, threatening to affect the quality of life of all Canadian residents and businesses.
Community energy planning can mitigate the risks associated with growing energy consumption and the inefficient use of energy in communities. Table 2 lists the many economic, environmental, health and resilience benefits of implementation.
Table 2: The Benefits of Community Energy Planning
|Economic benefits||Environmental benefits|
|Health and Social benefits||Resilience benefits|
There are a number of emerging opportunities supporting an energy transition in Canadian communities such as:
- Climate policy: Ambitious international, national and provincial/territorial policies are emerging in favour of a more integrated approach to energy planning. The Paris Agreement signals an unprecedented multinational agreement to raise the bar on energy and climate change action.
- Supportive policies: The Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Change presents opportunities for energy and climate action in Canadian communities. At a provincial and territorial level there are over 640 policies, programs and regulations supporting community energy planning.13See the GTI reports entitled National Report on Policies Supporting Community Energy Plan Implementation and Policies to Accelerate Community Energy Plans: An Analysis of British Columbia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories (www.gettingtoimplementation.ca/research).
- Urbanization: The preferences of Canadian homes and businesses are evolving. Today, 81 percent of Canadians live in urban regions, seeking improved connectivity between the places they live, work and play.14Statistics Canada (2011). Population, urban and rural, by province and territory (Canada). http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo62a-eng.htm.
- Clean tech: There is a significant opportunity to capitalize on the global clean tech market, which is expected to grow from $1 trillion in 2016 to $3 trillion by 2020.15Action Canada (2016). Launching Clean Tech: Ensuring Canada’s Place in the New Global Market. http://www.actioncanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/AC-TF2-Launching-Cleantech-EN-Summary-web.pdf.
Currently, Canada’s share represents 1.3 percent of the global market.16Analytics Advisors (2015). Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report. http://www.analytica-advisors.com/assets/file/2015%20Report%20Synopsis%20Final_wcovers.pdf.
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 (found under "Implement a Single Energy Project")||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|
The process of implementing a CEP will differ from community to community and depends on a number of factors, ranging from the community context, to resources, management and engagement with community stakeholders. Table 4 lays out the steps most often undertaken in the CEP development and implementation process.
Table 4: CEP Development and Implementation Process*Adapted from United States Department of Energy. (2014). Guide to Community Energy Strategic Planning. Retrieved from http://energy.gov/eere/slsc/guide-community-energy-strategic-planning