Our Energy Guelph (OEG) has limited means at its disposal to affect change directly. However, as the City of Guelph has demonstrated, it is possible to influence other organizations – most notably other orders of government – to implement actions and policies that support the objectives of the CEI. Some examples include:
- Provincial legislation was amended to allow the use of Local Improvement Charges to finance energy projects on private property (previously they were only used for municipal infrastructure, typically in the right-of-way).
- The Ministry of Energy implemented the Municipal Energy Plan Program to provide financial assistance for community energy planning.
- The Federation of Canadian Municipalities implemented the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, which funds various categories of effort related to climate change (including creating or updating community energy plans).
This advocacy can be done directly (e.g. by responding to postings on the Province of Ontario Environmental Registry), or collectively through organizations such as:
- Clean Air Partnership (CAP)
- Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST)
- Community Energy Knowledge Action Partnership (CEKAP)
- Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA)
- ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
- Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC)
It is recommended that the City of Guelph continue to provide advocacy support to OEG, while building OEG participation in policy/program public consultations and seeking opportunities to build direct relationships between OEG and these advocacy organizations. As OEG matures as an organization, it will be able to take on a more significant advocacy role.
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