Community Energy Planning and AMO Member Feedback

Posted: April 11, 2018
Tagged As: Energy, Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans, Energy Planning

AMO and LAS are exploring opportunities for municipalities in the low carbon economy to enhance local economic development, energy and environmental sustainability.

We want to understand what factors encourage municipalities to engage in Community Energy Planning (CEP).  Further, what benefits and challenges exist in the process, and what role AMO/LAS can play to support municipalities that lack the resources and capacity to do so.

With this in mind, AMO wrote Community Energy Planning: Overcoming Challenges & Attaining Benefits to speak to municipalities transitioning (or considering moving) towards a low-carbon economy. The paper also poses discussion questions to help AMO/LAS understand how we can strengthen our advocacy efforts, as well as develop potential programs or services that may support your community energy planning.

More recently, AMO conducted a survey of its members from March 7 to April 4, 2018 asking the questions highlighted in the paper. Responses came from all corners of the province and we thank all participants in providing their input. Some highlights include:
  • There is a strong majority of municipalities of all sizes that see value in using CEP as a way to identify opportunities in the low carbon economy.
  • Access to a wide range of data held by provincial ministries and utilities could help unlock a major barrier to track energy and environmental performance within municipalities. This would help us get information on a more granular scale.
  • Education and communication on the importance of CEP is critical. Having a community engagement process and plan is key to receive support from the broader community.
  • Although members see value in developing and implementing CEPs, several (particularly those in smaller, rural and northern areas of the province) see capacity as a significant challenge to overcome, mainly when implementing CEP actions. Others just do not have the time or the resources necessary to develop a plan at this time.
  • Continued access to appropriate information and funding could help generate more uptake for CEP.
  • Municipalities are interested hearing case studies of their peers who have been successful in designing and implementing CEPs.
We will use the feedback from the survey to explore opportunities presented by CEP to help further your community’s economic, energy, and environmental priorities. Stay tuned to this blog for future announcements.

In the meantime, AMO will be hosting a webinar on Conservation and Demand Management planning. Join us to hear about best practices and where you can find supports. Register for this free webinar which will be held on Monday, April 30 from 11am - 12pm.

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