Community Matters

Our Energy Guelph is collecting stories about how people work with energy in Guelph. Do you have an energy story to tell?

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Let's set the PACE for a clean recovery

June 18, 2020 — Guelph has a potent tool at its disposal to help the community to recover from the economic ravages of the pandemic. It’s called PACE: Property-Assessed Clean Energy. PACE can finance property improvements like better insulation, solar panels, and carbon-free electric heating using highly efficient heat pumps. PACE removes the biggest barrier to such projects - the upfront capital cost. Since...

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Keeping mobile in a lockdown II: Karma arrives

May 18, 2020 — In our last episode, we were eagerly awaiting delivery of our new (to us) electric car. With our old minivan written off, we’d been forced to buy a new vehicle, we’d settled on the Hyundai Kona EV,  a local dealer had tried and failed a bait-and-switch, we had closed a sale with a dealer in Edmonton, the car had been...

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Keeping mobile in a lockdown

April 16, 2020 — This story is a small one, insignificant compared to a worldwide emergency, a candle compared to the noonday sun. This is not a story of woe; my family has been lucky, virtually untouched by the pandemic (and my heart goes out to health care workers, grocery store staff, and others that are on the front line of this battle). It...

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One hop is better than two

March 11, 2020 — Spring is just over a week away. The snow is melting, a winter’s worth of dog poop is appearing, the crocuses aren’t far away, and my youngest daughter is counting the days until the Easter Bunny visits. A certain electricity is in the air. That electricity is about to make its way into our city buses. In January Guelph welcomed...

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I've seen the light

February 12, 2020 — You may have noticed something different outside your front door. Little by little, block by block, the streetlights are changing. The old high-pressure sodium streetlights produce a distinctive orange colour of illumination. The bulbs (which have to be removed, discarded, and replaced every three to five years) cast light in almost every direction. A device called a photocell controls each...

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Scoping 1-2-3

November 7, 2019 — Guelph will be a Net Zero Carbon community by 2050. In a prior post, I explored what that means. Another key question is how to measure it. After all, as management guru Peter Drucker famously pointed out, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Like a child measuring their height on a wall, it seems simple but there’s...

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Net Zero Carbon: What does it mean?

August 1, 2019 — Carbon. Element #6 on the periodic table. 18.5% of the mass in a typical human body, second only to oxygen. You'll find it in coal, gasoline, natural gas, but also food, fermented beverages, the frame of my now-obsolete road bicycle...and the atmosphere, again with its pal oxygen in the form of carbon dioxide. Guelph has a goal to be a...

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The next chapter for the CEI

April 26, 2019 — As a community we face a wide range of issues that require coordinated action across government, the business sector, and the community at large. I want to speak about one of those big issues: climate change. More specifically, I want to talk about climate change mitigation, which refers to our responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible...

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Guelph hospitals get provincial funds for energy efficiency improvements

February 13, 2018 — "Guelph’s hospitals are among those on the receiving end of the province’s cap-and-trade program. Guelph General Hospital (GGH) and St. Joseph’s Health Centre are the recipients of a total of nearly $1.5 million from the province toward projects meant to improve energy efficiency at the two hospitals." (Read more on Guelph Tribune)

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Deep retrofit upgrade makes Guelph home as good as new

February 13, 2018 — A new family moving to Guelph decided to make a change to a car-free, sustainable lifestyle. A deep retrofit of their property upgrades their Energuide rating to 82, which means that their house performs among the top 5% of buildings of its type. Read the case study to learn more.

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Savings from LED traffic signals exceed Guelph's expectations

February 13, 2018 — "Guelph is starting the first city-wide replacement of LED traffic signal bulbs since they were installed in 2006, resulting in savings that city hall says have exceeded expectations. The city expected a four-year payback period from the LED traffic signal upgrades, but it saw a much shorter, two-year payback period and it continues to see operational savings every year" (Read...

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City wins FCM's Sustainable Community Award

February 13, 2018 — "The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has awarded the City of Guelph a Sustainable Community Award in the category of sustainable neighbourhood revitalization and design for the Guelph Innovation District (GID) secondary plan. FCM praised the plan’s carbon-neutral vision and its efficient, sustainable design which reduces transportation needs." (Read more on City's website)

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County applies for more vehicle charging stations

February 13, 2018 — "Wellington County will apply for federal funding for up to seven additional electric vehicle charging stations. At its Jan. 25 meeting, county council approved an administration, finance and human resources committee recommendation to apply to a Natural Resources Canada program for up to 50% of the total project costs, to a maximum of $50,000 per charging unit." (Read more from...

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Sleeman Centre gets a lighting facelift

February 13, 2018 — Sleeman Centre is home of the Guelph Storm OHL Hockey Franchise. In addition to ice sports, this facility hosts a variety of events including, concerts, corporate and family events and an assortment of special sports events. The facility typically operates for 18 hours per day during the hockey season leaving the off season schedule dependent on event bookings, off ice...

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Guelph residential development helps set zero-carbon building standard

February 13, 2018 — "Consisting of 8 residences and ground floor commercial with basement storage, a joint project of Terra View Homes and Newton Group that has been selected to be part of the Canada Green Building Council's Zero Carbon Building Standard pilot program. The building will be part of Terra View's NiMa Trails development in Guelph's north end." (Read more from Guelph Mercury...

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Guelph faith-based institutions lead the way on solar adoption

February 7, 2018 — By our estimates, five faith based instutitions in Guelph are producing energy locally through rooftop solar.   Harcourt Memorial United Church on 87 Dean Avenue has 46 solar panels on its roof. Since 2011, these panels have produced nearly 80MWh of electricity - enough to power nearly 8 average Ontario homes! Click here to learn more about their system.  St....

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Social housing cooperative gets a lot greener

February 7, 2018 — "A $45,400 green energy investment in Wellington County’s Royal City Housing Co-operative in Guelph will save residents lots of money, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of a social housing community built back when baseboard electric heaters were the thing." .... (read original article on GuelphToday)

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Dr. Kirby Calvert on Community Energy Planning

February 7, 2018 — This post originally appeared on CEKAP.ca and was written by Dr. Kirby Calvert First principles ensure coordination of efforts, and position for success. This blog will excavate, evaluate, and refine the ‘first principles’ of community energy planning. My insights build on the Getting to Implementation project, inspired conversations with leading practitioners, and my experience as co-chair of the City of Guelph’s energy task...

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Lloyd Longfield, MP Guelph

March 6, 2017 — Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my full support of the Paris agreement and the promise this agreement holds for Canada's future. Climate change is truly unlike any other challenge the House or, indeed, humanity itself has ever faced as this struggle is not with a particular nation or ideology, but with an ever-increasing need of human society. We...

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