What can you do as a community?

Community-level projects and actions have the greatest opportunities to make dramatic energy savings and emission reductions in people’s everyday lives.  

1. Community Energy Planning

Create a community energy plan to 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.

2. Energy Efficient Homes and Buildings

Promote energy efficiency audits and upgrades in your community’s homes and buildings. Plus, 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Community Policy, Education and 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.

Below are some examples of community energy initiatives that focused on buildings and energy efficiency. 

Category Example
1. Policy measures Adopt policy statements in the Official Community Plan promoting energy efficiency. Develop rezoning policies establishing an expectation for energy efficiency. Include passive solar and natural ventilation guidelines in Development Permit Area Guidelines.
2. Information Provide information to residents, developers, and building permit applicants about energy incentives available from utilities and federal / provincial government.
3. Education Develop sustainability permit checklists, and require that the checklist be completed in order to get a permit.
4. Incentives Reduce building permit fees for more efficient buildings, or for acquiring an energy performance label (e.g. EnerGuide). Provide a density bonus for more efficient buildings.
5. Regulatory Review land use and building bylaws. Pursue mixed use and higher density development to create favorable conditions for district heating and/or geo-exchange energy systems.
6. Capacity

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