Ottawa, Ontario – February 10, 2016. Canadian communities have untapped opportunities to strengthen local economies, reduce current and future energy costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and create jobs by investing in smarter and more integrated approaches to energy use at the local level, finds a new report released today by the Community Energy Association, QUEST – Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, and Sustainable Prosperity.
The new report, entitled Community Energy Planning: The Value Proposition, is being released today at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Conference.
“Energy is a significant cost in Canadian communities. Each year millions and in some cases billions of dollars are spent on energy, much of which leaves the local economy,” explains Brent Gilmour, Executive Director of QUEST. “In London Ontario for example, of the $1.6 billion spent on energy in 2014, only 12 percent stayed in London’s economy. Reducing energy use by 1 percent annually has the potential to keep an additional $14 million within London’s local economy.”
The report identifies how community energy planning has many benefits beyond just reducing energy consumption and costs. Community energy planning has a positive effect on environmental and community health goals, as well as economic ones.
“There is a strong value proposition for integrated approaches to energy use at the local level with solid economic returns on investments, environmental gains, health benefits, and improved quality of life for local residents,” said Mike Wilson, Executive Director of Sustainable Prosperity. “And these approaches also reduce businesses’ costs of operation, making a community attractive to investors.”
“This report shows that the benefits of Community Energy Plans play an important role in achieving federal, provincial, and territorial goals,” said Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director of Community Energy Association. “For example, many senior governments have goals around growing the green economy and increasing physical activity; community energy plans tackle these issues head-on at the local level.”
For more information:
Download the report: http://www.gettingtoimplementation.ca/research
About Community Energy Association (CEA)
CEA supports local governments in developing and implementing community energy and emissions plans (also known as climate action plans, community energy plans, and local action plans). We also help local governments with carbon neutral action plans for their operations.
QUEST is a non-profit organization that conducts research, engagement and advocacy to advance Smart Energy Communities in Canada. Smart Energy Communities improve energy efficiency, enhance reliability, cut costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the help of 8 provincial and regional Caucuses, QUEST brings together key stakeholders from government, utilities & energy providers, the real estate sector among others to transform Canada’s 5400 communities into Smart Energy Communities. Follow us: @QUESTCanada
About Sustainable Prosperity (SP)
SP is a national research and policy network, based at the University of Ottawa. SP focuses on market-based approaches to build a greener, more competitive economy. It brings together business, policy and academic leaders to help innovative ideas inform policy development. Follow us: @sustpro
For additional information:
Tel.: 613-562-5800 ext. 1189
Director, Communications & National Affairs
Tel.: 613-627-2938 x706