Council approves funding to support making Guelph a net zero carbon community

Council also approves plan for meeting City’s 100 per cent renewable energy target

Guelph, Ont., May 28, 2019 — City Council approved $700,000 in funding over five years to support the Community Energy Initiative led by Our Energy Guelph at last night’s Council meeting. Council also approved recommendations for achieving 100 per cent renewable energy sources for all City energy needs.

“To tackle climate change, we need all hands on deck,” says Alex Chapman, manager of the City’s Climate Change Office. “This means working closely with our community and leading by example. With Council’s support, we can take a big step forward in reducing Guelph’s environmental footprint while further positioning our community as the leaders in environmental sustainability and delivering significant economic value and jobs.”

Launched in 2007 and updated in 2018, the Community Energy Initiative aims to mitigate Guelph’s contribution to climate change by becoming a net zero carbon community by 2050. The City will continue to work closely with Our Energy Guelph, a community group that was originally launched by City Council in 2016 to update the Community Energy Initiative.

Funding for an executive director will help Our Energy Guelph implement its Council-approved recommendations for making Guelph a net zero carbon community. Our Energy Guelph’s actionable plans for achieving a net zero carbon community include:

  • community education and outreach
  • retrofitting houses and industrial, commercial and institutional buildings
  • striving for highly efficient new builds that emit little or no carbon
  • active transportation

Last night Council also supported the City’s plan to move forward with a corporate target of meeting 100 per cent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2050.

“By moving towards 100 per cent renewable energy sources, the City is aligning its goals with our community’s expectations,” says Bryan Ho-Yan, program manager of Corporate Energy. “With Council’s support and our community behind us, we’re sure to meet our targets and lead the way for other cities to do the same.”

Council’s approval includes further development of a corporate energy management system and funding for a project manager as a strategic step towards meeting the renewable energy target.

Currently, about 23 per cent of the City’s energy use is from renewable sources. As a top priority, City staff will focus on energy conservation efforts and reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions.  

To learn more about the City’s Corporate Energy Plan visit guelph.ca/energy.

To learn more about the Community Energy Initiative and Our Energy Guelph visit OurEnergyGuelph.ca.  

Media contacts

Community Energy Initiative:

Alex Chapman
Manager, Climate Change Office,
519-822-1260 extension 3324
alex.chapman@guelph.ca

Corporate Energy Plan:

Bryan Ho-Yan
Program Manager, Corporate Energy
519-822-1260 extension 2672
bryan.ho-yan@guelph.ca