Community Energy Initiative

Community Energy Initiative update

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.

Guelph’s goals under the plan are to:

  • use less energy in 25 years than we do today
  • consume less energy per capita than comparable Canadian cities
  • produce less greenhouse gas per capita than the current global average
Community Energy Initiative – Executive Summary Community Energy Initiative  


In April 2007, Guelph City Council unanimously endorsed the vision, goals and general directions of a 25-year Community Energy Initiative that will put Guelph on the cutting edge for North America.

Under the initiative’s challenging but realistic targets, Guelph could use less energy in 25 years than it does today – even with expected residential growth of 65,000 people – and cut its annual greenhouse emissions by nine tonnes per person. This will put Guelph among the top energy performers in the world, and make this one of the most competitive and attractive communities in which to invest.

Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative has earned international attention. Ours is among only a handful of North American cities to undertake an energy management project of this scope. In a way, we’re pioneering a new approach to how cities use energy. While ahead of its time in some ways, the initiative arrives not a moment too soon – when the opportunity to make a positive difference still exists.


The Community Energy Initiative was developed by a Consortium that included the City; Union Gas; Guelph Hydro; business and industry representatives; the University of Guelph; school boards; and Chamber of Commerce, with the assistance of international energy expert Peter Garforth.


Cross-departmental teams of City staff are working with Guelph Hydro and other partners and stakeholders to implement the directions in the initiative . They will provide regular reports on their progress to Council and partner agencies.

What others are saying

Presentations, announcements and events

Guelph is a progressive university town. Their Community Energy Initiative to consume less energy attracted solar module company Canadian Solar Inc., which has opened the door to up to 500 jobs for residents.

Awards and recognition