What Can You Do As a Community?

When it comes to energy, community-level projects and actions provide the greatest opportunities to bring about dramatic energy savings and emission reductions for B.C.'s residents.  

Read through the suggestions and examples below, and then visit our Support & Resources page for programs and documents to help you get started.

Suggestions 

Create a Community Energy Plan

Actively guide your community’s sustainable energy future. A community energy plan will help establish energy objectives, provide an overview of your community’s energy demand and identify energy efficiency and clean energy opportunities that can be integrated with your community’s physical development and economic sustainability plans.

Increase Home & Building Energy Efficiency

Promote energy efficiency audits and upgrades in your community’s homes and buildings. You can also help ensure that all new homes and buildings include energy efficiency components by organizing sustainable design workshops, and encouraging better than code energy efficiency standards.

Start Clean Energy Projects

Design and build community-owned clean energy projects, or support clean energy projects in your region that meet your community’s sustainability objectives. Visit our CELP Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 pages for project ideas.

Promote Sustainable Transportation

Develop a low-carbon transportation strategy to help save money, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promote active transportation, and expand options for public transit and ride-sharing. Consider adding green vehicles to your fleets and initiating idle reduction campaigns.

Enhance Community Policy, Education & Training

Create clean energy and energy efficiency policies, improve energy education and increase access to clean energy and energy efficiency jobs in your community. Be a mentor for other communities interested in community energy solutions.

Examples of Community Energy Improvements

Below are some examples of energy initiatives communities have taken to focus specifically on improving their building and energy efficiency.

Aspect Improvements

Policy measures

- Adopted policy statements in an official community plan promoting energy efficiency.

- Developed rezoning policies establishing an expectation for energy efficiency.

- Included passive solar and natural ventilation guidelines in development permit area guidelines.

Information

- Provided information to residents, developers, and building permit applicants about energy incentives available from utilities, as well as federal and provincial governments.

Education

- Developed sustainability permit checklists, and require that the checklist be completed in order to get a permit.

Incentives

- Reduced building permit fees for more efficient buildings, or for acquiring an energy performance label like EnerGuide.

- Provided a density bonus for more efficient buildings.

Regulations

- Reviewed land use and building bylaws.

- Pursued mixed-use and higher density developments to create favorable conditions for district heating and geo-exchange energy systems.

Capacity

- Encouraged local government staff to include energy efficiency work as a part of their work plans.