Community Energy Efficiency & Emissions Reduction

Energy-efficient programs, technologies and designs require less energy to provide the same services as conventional systems. Improving energy efficiency reduces demand, which can directly lower consumer energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and defer the need to invest in new energy supplies.

Local Government Planning & Land Use

Land use can influence energy use and emissions. Greater energy efficiency and emissions reduction can be achieved through long-term planning that focuses on land use that is compact, complete, connected and centered. This approach can yield significant infrastructure savings and reduce the negative impacts of high energy consumption. It can also result in more efficient transportation corridors and increased green spaces, reducing emissions and increasing carbon sink. These outcomes can be achieved through regional growth strategies and official community plans.

Other planning tools that can help local governments reduce energy and emissions in an integrated way include:

Energy Efficiency Standards & Regulation

The Energy Efficiency Act and Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation set energy performance standards for devices that use, control or affect the use of energy, such as:

  • Household appliances (washers, fridges)
  • Heating systems (furnaces, boilers, heat pumps)
  • Cooling systems (air conditioners, heat pumps)
  • Lighting (ballasts and fluorescent bulbs)
  • Some industrial equipment (motors and transformers)


Local governments can access sources of funding to support the planning and development of energy efficient infrastructure.

  • Local governments undertaking community energy and emissions reduction plans or studies related to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions are eligible to receive an infrastructure planning grant.

Capital grant programs provide funding for projects that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and facilities owned by local government.

Energy Efficiency Certification Programs

Energy efficiency achievements can be recognized through certification programs.

  • Canada Green Building Council LEED: The leadership in energy and environmental design certification distinguishes new building or major renovations that are meeting high performance standards in environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.