Energy is a significant cost in Guelph. Each year, millions of dollars leave the city to pay energy bills for heating and cooling, lighting, transportation, manufacturing, industrial production, and the many conveniences of modern living. This cost plays a significant role in the financial well-being of Canadian communities, and it is expected to increase over time.
We can reduce the cost of energy. Making smart decisions on land use and urban form, buildings, transportation, waste, and distributed energy resources can bring numerous benefits to the community of Guelph.
Energy planning presents an opportunity to keep energy dollars in the local economy and reduce operating costs for businesses. This makes the community attractive to investors.
Proper energy planning will help the city respond to rising energy costs from carbon emissions pricing and regulation, disruptions in energy supply, or changes in energy costs. It also supports key strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollution emissions.
Initiatives to reduce energy costs can also support social priorities at the community level. Guelph can help to reduce energy poverty through energy efficiency buildings, complete and compact neighbourhoods, and convenient access to public transpiration. Reducing energy use also benefits public health by improving air quality and encouraging active, healthy lifestyles.
Pavement and building materials absorb sun and emit it as heat, raising the temperature of urbanized areas compared to their surroundings. This is the “urban heat island” effect. Land use and urban form can be designed to reduce the urban heat island effect, which reduces negative health impacts and energy costs.
Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST), has produced a number of publications on this topic these include: