Performance Management

Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative is the community’s commitment to use and manage energy more effectively. By doing so, Guelph could use less energy in 25 years than it does today and cut its annual greenhouse gas emissions by seven tonnes per person.

The City of Guelph has provided its energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission data for 2011 to the Ontario Ministry of Energy (OME).

The filing of this report, required annually under Regulation 397/11 of the Green Energy Act, provides information to help public agencies, like the City of Guelph, to better understand and manage energy consumption.

Overall, the OME is looking to have province-wide reduction targets of GHG emission of six per cent below 1990 levels by 2014; 15 per cent by 2020; and 80 per cent by 2050.

As a municipality, the City is required to report on the following operations:

  • Administrative offices and related facilities, including municipal Council chambers
  • Public libraries
  • Cultural facilities, indoor recreation facilities and community centres, including art galleries, performing arts facilities, auditoriums, indoor sports arenas, indoor ice rinks, indoor swimming pools, gyms and indoor courts for playing tennis, basketball, or other sports
  • Ambulance, Fire, and Police stations and associated offices and facilities
  • Storage facilities where equipment or vehicles are maintained, repaired or stored
  • Buildings/facilities or facilities related to treatment or pumping of water or sewage
  • Parking garages [i]

The information gathered in order to complete the template included:

  • Address at which the operation is conducted
  • Type of operation
  • Total floor area of the indoor space in which the operation is conducted
  • Description of the days and hours in the year during which the operation is conducted
  • Types of energy purchased for the year and consumed in connection with the operation
  • Total amount of each type of energy purchased for the year and consumed in connection with the operation
  • Total amount of greenhouse gas emissions for the year with respect to each type of energy purchased and consumed in connection with the operation
  • Greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption for the year from conducting the operation, calculating:
    1. the annual mega watt hours per mega litre of water treated and distributed, if the operation is a water works;
    2. the annual mega watt hours per mega litre of sewage treated and distributed, if the operation is a sewage works, or
    3. the per unit of floor space of the building or facility in which the operation is conducted, in any other case.[ii]

In addition to GHG emission data reporting, the province also requires the City to develop and implement a five-year energy conservation and demand management (CDM) plan by 2014. This plan was completed in December 2012 as part of the City’s Corporate Energy Management program.

The City of Guelph has committed to the Community Energy Initiative (CEI) to lower GHG emissions over the entire city as well as the Corporate Energy Management Program targeting our own facilities. The City expects to have large reductions of GHG emissions by 2031 under both policies.

View the GHG emission data template submitted to the MOE or visit City Hall to access a hard copy.

Key Report Findings

  • Total GHG emissions from our facilities, based on this report, were 7,051,714 Kg’s.
  • Total electricity purchased and consumed was 39,997,036 kW-h, and total natural gas purchased and consumed was 2,037,394 m3.
  • The three facilities with the highest GHG emission for 2011 were: the Wastewater Treatment Plant, West End Recreation Centre, and Guelph City Hall. These three locations account for 38.5% of all the GHG emitted by Guelph’s facilities.
  • Facilities that are used to pump water or sewage account for 29.6% of all the GHG emissions.

Some key challenges faced by Guelph

  • Ensuring that, as a City, we can keep up with the energy needs of a growing population while also reducing the amount of GHG emissions. This a concern for our facilities as they need to be able to provide the citizens of Guelph with the services that they expect, while creating better efficiencies in how we manage our energy consumption.
  • Gaining approval for some of our projects from regulators, such as the Ontario Power Authority, for our Community and Corporate Plans.
  • Making sure that many initiatives for energy conservation and efficiency are aligned with Guelph’s many different stakeholder groups. This can range from citizens, businesses, NGOs, different levels of government, among many others.
  • Staying on top of the rapidly changing technological improvements and best practices over a long-term project to ensure we not only deliver on our expectations, but exceed them. The Corporate Energy Management plan is a long-term continuous improvement project and is designed to continuously pursue GHG reduction and efficiency opportunities.

ServiceOntario, (2011). “Ontario Regulation 397/11”[Online]. Available:

ServiceOntario, (2011). “Ontario Regulation 397/11”[Online]. Available:


  • The City submitted Feed-in-Tariff applications to the Ontario Power Authority for rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on 16 municipal facilities. If approved, City facilities could soon start generating as much as 1 megawatt of solar power through panels on their roofs. The projects would generate enough renewable energy to power 350 homes. Renewable energy is a key strategy of the Community Energy Initiative.
  • The new Clair Road Emergency Services Centre is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certified, and uses about 50 per cent less energy and 30 per cent less water than a conventional building. A total of 90 per cent of interior spaces enjoy natural light, and the facility has features such as rainwater harvesting, bike storage, and solar hot water heating.
  • The City’s Community Energy Initiative was instrumental in attracting two new renewable energy co-operatives, currently in development in the city. A growing local solar cluster includes Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. and Sustainable Energy Technologies which are expected to bring more than 500 jobs to Guelph.
  • A pilot project is underway to fuel a City vehicle with methane gas generated from the Wastewater Treatment Facility. This project is in line with the City’s green fleet policies and is another cost-saving initiative that has come from the Wastewater Treatment Facility’s optimization efforts.


  • A Mayor’s Task Force on Community Energy was formed to guide implementation of the Community Energy Initiative.
  • Implementation of conservation measures in City facilities—such as energy efficient lighting systems, new energy management systems, solar domestic hot water systems, a cogeneration plant, new HVAC units and high efficiency boilers—will result in estimated energy savings of 2,022,306 equivalent kilowatt hours and greenhouse gas reductions of 592,536 kilograms of CO2. Estimated annual savings for 2010, as a result of energy conservation upgrades, annual cost savings due to the electricity procurement strategy, and incentives and credits is $624,500.
  • Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative (CEI) was instrumental in bringing Canadian Solar Inc.—the world’s eighth largest solar company—to Guelph. The opening will mean 300 to 500 new jobs for Guelph and the facility will be capable of producing solar-based power that exceeds the entire current electrical demand of our community.
    Guelph became the first Ontario municipality to sell its greenhouse gas credits by signing a five year carbon credit contract valued at over $1 million. The City’s carbon credits are obtained by capturing methane gas from the Eastview landfill site and converting it into enough electricity to power an estimated 1,000 homes.
  • The City of Guelph and the Province of Ontario signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will help enhance the local economy and create jobs over the coming years in the Guelph Innovation District. The Innovation District is vital to supporting an economic cluster focussed on green-economy and innovation sector jobs; offering opportunities for integrated energy planning as part of the Community Energy Initiative; and meeting employment and housing targets consistent with Guelph’s Growth Management Strategy and the Province’s Growth Plan.
  • An energy density map is being created by measuring where and how much energy is used in the city. Feasibility studies are also underway to determine the potential for district energy systems downtown, at the University of Guelph and near the Guelph General Hospital.


  • Guelph’s new City Hall is built to meet the LEED Silver Standard (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) and uses almost 40% less energy than a typical office building. Energy savings will mean a reduction of almost 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Recent upgrades to the wastewater cogeneration facility offset 3,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, while generating one-third of the plant’s energy needs using methane gas produced through the wastewater treatment process.
  • Implementation of energy conservation measures in City facilities will result in estimated energy savings of 3,212,169 equivalent kilowatt hours of electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 941 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • An electricity procurement strategy for City facilities and street lighting results in annual cost savings of more than $400,000.

Under the Community Energy Plan, even as Guelph's population grows, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will decrease from 2005 levels. Approximately 50 projects are underway within the scope of the Plan.