Community Energy Initiative

A commitment to use energy more wisely and fight climate change

The Community Energy Initiative (formerly Community Energy Plan – CEP) is Guelph’s commitment to use and manage energy differently, better, than we have in the past. The initiative will also attract quality investment to the city. After all, experts agree that a reliable, sustainable energy supply is and will continue to be a key ingredient in the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of cities.

The main goal of the CEI is that Guelph will become a Net Zero Carbon community by 2050.

Council has set a further goal that City corporate operations will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Our Energy Guelph, a community social enterprise, will be the City’s partner in implementing the CEI.

Community Energy Initiative Update timeline

The Community Energy Initiative is Guelph’s well-renowned 25-year plan to use and produce less energy and greenhouse gas. It set the bar for similar initiatives across many Canadian municipalities and established Guelph as a leader in community-based energy conservation.

The City’s Governance Committee approved a staff report for a proposed update to Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative, on April 7, 2016. Council approved the report’s recommendations on April 25.


  1. Update the Community Energy Initiative to reflect identified gaps, new policies, and technical and best practices
  • Establish baseline measurements
  • Incorporate municipal best practices, and federal and provincial government policies and program requirements
  • Global, regional and local market analysis
  • Factor in global, regional and local market analysis
  1. Re-focus the Community Energy Initiative as a community-led initiative
  • Empower community stakeholders to determine the priorities and lead the Community Energy Initiative’s success
  1. Establish metrics for Guelph’s progress and how we compare to other municipalities
  • Coordinated reporting protocols

Why update the Community Energy Initiative?

Guelph’s Community Energy Plan was approved by Council in 2007, and in 2010 it was renamed the Community Energy Initiative to reflect the progress of the plan to the implementation stage.

Now, almost 10 years later, a lot has changed, including:

  • Provincial and federal government policies and support
  • Global, North American, and local markets for energy-related products and services
  • Electricity prices

Not to mention the City has learned a lot—locally, provincially and nationally—since 2007 about the value of a sustainable energy supply and its role in Guelph’s long-term ability to compete and prosper.


The update is estimated to cost $250,000.

To help offset this cost, the City will apply for at least half of the funding from the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Municipal Energy Plan Program and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Funds.

The City’s approved Community Energy budget will accommodate the remaining costs.

Progress reports

Report #1 outlines the status of the following four items:

  1. The City’s Corporate Energy Management Program (CEMP), a key aspect of the CEI’s approach to demonstrating leadership, improving energy efficiency in City owned buildings and developing opportunities for on-site energy generation.
  2. The completion of the scope of work to undertake qualitative and quantitative analysis in support of the CEI Update process. This scope of work will be used to develop and issue a request for proposal to hire a consultant to undertake this analysis later this year.
  3. The development of a Community Engagement Plan for the CEI update, including the  terms of reference for the Community Advisory Committee. It is anticipated that the Committee members will be recruited later this year.
  4. Securing funding from the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Municipal Energy Plan Program, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund and other potential funders to support the CEI update. The cost of the CEI Update is estimated at $150,000, with 50 per cent of these costs potentially covered by third party funders.

Community Energy Initiative (CEI) Update Status Report #1 (July 18, 2016)

 Report #2 outlines the status of the following five items:

  1. The establishment of the CEI Task Force (previously known as the Community Advisory Committee), which will provide guidance, feedback, oversight and reporting to staff, Council and the community during the update of the Community Energy Initiative.
  2. The scope of work to develop an energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions baseline and modeling tool for Guelph.
  3. $25,000 in funding provided through the Ontario Ministry of Energy Municipal Energy Program, and the funding application to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund for a minimum of $50,000, expected to be announced early 2017.
  4. Potential funding options and the community-based administration/delivery approach for the Guelph Energy Efficiency Retrofit Strategy (GEERS) program.
  5. The development of a city-wide district energy business development strategy as part of the CEI Update.

 Community Energy Initiative (CEI) Update Status Report #2 (November 10, 2016)

Report #3 outlines the status of the following three items:

  1. The recruitment and selection of the 20 member CEI Task Force, whose first meeting took place on January 20, 2017.
  2. An updated timeline for completion of key milestones for the Community Energy Initiative update, along with mitigation measures to stay on schedule.
  3. The successful securement of $25,000 in funding from the Ontario Ministry of Energy Municipal Energy Program, and other funding currently being pursued.

Community Energy Initiative (CEI) Update Status Report #3 (January 27, 2017)

Report #4 outlines the status of the following five items:

  1. The work of the Community Energy Initiative (CEI) Task Force, including rebranding the Task Force and the CEI to “Our Energy Guelph” and ensuring the initiative is truly community led.
  2. Work of the two new sub-teams focused on analytics and community engagement.
  3. Online engagement including the new Our Energy Guelph webpage and social media channels.
  4. Public engagement sessions including the Energy Pop-up Innovation Centre (EPIC), a trade show-style pop-up banner mobile exhibit.
  5. Next steps including energy data gathering and analysis; a community engagement survey; confirming goals for Our Energy Guelph; developing programs and approaches; and developing the final deliverable to Council.

Community Energy Initiative Update (July 7, 2017)


For more information

Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
Facilities Management
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3324