Next week, Council will review the newly developed Community Energy Plan (CEP) at General Committee.
The Community Energy Plan (CEP) is part of our commitment under the 2019 Declaration of Climate Emergency, and is a large step in the process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resiliency within our operations and at the community level.
This Plan outlines how the Town intends to grow towards a sustainable energy future. It describes the steps to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and foster a culture of conservation for our residents, businesses, and local institutions. The Plan allows us to keep energy dollars, estimated to be $178 million in 2018, in our community where we can put them towards our needs.
Since 2018, the Town has committed to reducing greenhouse gas through the following initiatives:
- the Aurora Corporate Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan, which set a target of reducing municipal emissions by 16% by 2023 from 2018 levels.
- the Anti-Idling Policy, limiting unnecessary emissions
- Joined the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, which consists of a five-step Milestone Framework that guides action against climate change. The Community Energy Plan fulfills the first three PCP Milestones, including creating a baseline emissions inventory and forecast, setting emissions reduction targets, and developing a local action plan.
- Purchased an energy management software to track energy use trends, support reduction strategies, help with Provincial energy reporting activities, and the first step in implementing a corporate-wide energy management system (EMS).
- Replaced lighting at all the Town facilities to high efficiency LED.
- Installed solar panels at four Town Facilities generated 652,700 kWh of solar power in 2019.
- Designed the new Library Square Project to align with the LEED Gold standard and includes over 20 green design features.
- Council approved funding for the Green Development Standard for sustainable community development guidelines that will be applied to the Town’s planning process.
- Council approved funding for energy conservation measures at Town Facilities to be implemented in 2020-2021.
The CEP adds strength to Aurora’s community culture of environmental and economic leadership. This Plan supports residents, business owners, institutions, and the Town to address climate change positively and effectively.
I am looking forward to the discussion next week and hearing Councils thoughts on how we can provide a sustainable future for our families and businesses and ultimately the endorsement of this important step forward in our environmental leadership