From CEP to CEI

In 2009 the City created and filled the post of Community Energy Manager, providing full-time leadership, management, and oversight of CEP-related work. In the same year, Council approved the creation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Energy to provide governance for CEP implementation. This group had its inaugural meeting in April of 2010, and its terms of reference specified a two-year mandate. Task Force subcommittees included City Implementation Management, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Governance and Finance, and Intergovernmental.

In 2010, the CEP was renamed the Community Energy Initiative (CEI) to signify the transition from planning to implementation. In June of that year a Memorandum of Intentions was signed between Guelph Hydro and the City, to enable implementation of CEI projects.

In 2011 the City created Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI), with a broad mandate that included the development of business units that would implement aspects of the CEI. One of these units was Envida Community Energy, which assumed responsibility for building a portfolio of renewable generation assets.

In 2012 Council approved the Corporate Energy Management Plan (CEMP). The purpose of this five-year plan was to position the City to demonstrate leadership on energy efficiency, to implement measures aligned with CEI goals, and to reduce the City’s exposure to volatile energy costs. The plan fulfilled the requirement for Broader Public Sector entities to submit a Conservation and Demand Management Plan to the Ministry of Energy under O.Reg.397/11. The plan included the results of energy audits of 13 tax-supported facilities, and recommended a capital investment program to improve energy efficiency of these facilities. This program saved a total of $1.6 million over the period from 2014-2017.

In 2013 the City and Envida jointly developed the District Energy (DE) Strategic Plan. This document defined a strategy to build a city-wide thermal energy distribution network serving 50% of space heating and domestic hot water needs by 2041. Two DE nodes were launched, one in the Hanlon Creek Business Park and another in the downtown core. In 2016 Council directed GMHI to halt further development of these DE systems.

As of 2017, the following City of Guelph staff resources support programs that are aligned with CEI objectives:

  • A Climate Change Office with 2.5 Full-Time Equivalents, including the Manager of the Climate Change Office and the Corporate Energy Program Manager
  • A sustainability board called the Energy, Water and Climate Change (EWaCC – pronounced “Ewok”) working group
  • Three Environmental Planners
  • One full-time Transportation Demand Management program manager and one full-time Transportation Demand Management coordinator

Currently the inventory of tangible CEI-related City assets includes:

  • 2.5 megawatt landfill gas-fuelled electricity generation plant at the Eastview decommissioned landfill site
  • 575 kilowatt combined heat and power facility at the Guelph Wastewater Treatment Plant, fuelled by renewable natural gas from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge
  • 400 kilowatt combined heat and power plant at the West End Community Centre, supplying electricity and heat at lower cost and lower emissions than if each were purchased separately from the grid
  • Nine City properties with solar PV arrays, with a total nameplate capacity of 88 kilowatts generating electricity and revenue under the MicroFIT program
  • Four City facilities with solar hot water systems
  • Guelph was one of the first communities to install an electric vehicle charging station
  • Of the 20 cars in the City of Guelph fleet, ten are hybrid gasoline-electric

Additional community-owned assets aligned with the CEI include:

  • 8 megawatt combined heat and power plant at Polycon Industries, a subsidiary of Magna International Inc.
  • A 22 million litre thermal energy storage facility at the University of Guelph, partially funded by student financial contributions, cooling campus buildings with clean, off-peak power
  • Canadian Solar, the only top-three global supplier of solar PV modules not based in China, which is headquartered in Guelph
  • 49% more solar PV systems per capita than the provincial average

Previous page: The Community Energy Plan of 2007

Next page: GEERS