Talking energy

The Mayor’s Taskforce on Community Energy met last week.

Many members of the Taskforce were present along with members of Council, municipal staff and the community.

The first half of the agenda was a bit of a “state of the union”.

Some of the key messages included:

  • The magnitude of the opportunity for Guelph to build a more resilient energy system, attract investment and support the local economy. Applications amounting to 60 MW of local renewable and low carbon energy projects have been submitted from Guelph (private, public and non-profit sectors) to the Ontario Power Authority – this represents more than 25% of our city’s current electricity demand
  • The Community Energy Initiative is obviously about reducing our energy consumption and green house gas emissions but it is also much more than that – it is about strong city building. The reduced capital and operating costs offered by the proposed District Energy Facility in the Hanlon Creek Business Park is a real , differentiator that we can offer businesses in a highly competitive market for employment lands (along with a great location, competitive business costs and a city that is ranked among the top ten places to live in Canada)
  • Energy management equals risk management at the City of Guelph. The City’s annual budget for energy is $7.5 million and energy costs are expected to increase anywhere from 50 to 100% over the next 6-7 years. Escalating fossil fuel costs are a financial risk for the City of Guelph and a service risk as many services are highly reliant on energy (e.g. facilities and pumping water to homes and fossil fuels, including transit and procurement of products that transported from outside Guelph. The City Implementation Management Team has been charged with finding $400,000 in energy savings in 2012 alone

We ended the meeting with a guest speaker – Chris Martenson. His compelling message to act and to do it now can be heard on line 

Today, representatives from across southern Ontario are meeting in Guelph to discuss community energy planning – to share knowledge and to work collectively to create an environment that supports community energy planning goals in Ontario.

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About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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