Executive summary

Our Energy Guelph (OEG) is progressing well with the Community Energy Initiative (CEI). Our recent work focused on awareness-raising, and encouraging community volunteers to participate in efforts to support the CEI. The most visible example of this was the sold-out Local Action on Climate Change event. Presented in partnership with the University of Guelph, key community partners (e.g., the My World, My Choice sustainability mentorship program) were able to recruit volunteer resources at this event.

Our next steps are toward program and project implementation as laid out in the CEI pathway to net zero carbon. This pathway represents not just a critical way to mitigate climate change, but also an investment opportunity with considerable potential benefit for the Guelph economy. Seizing this investment opportunity will require a collaborative approach involving multiple stakeholders, underpinned by a strong and carefully-scoped role for the City of Guelph. In short, it can only be seized by an approach that is community led, and municipally resourced.

This approach is not new, nor is it untested or experimental. The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is currently taking a very similar approach with its Community Energy Investment Strategy.

A fully-funded OEG Executive Director (ED) position is critical to speed up progress on CEI targets and initiatives, and to act on investment opportunities. The ED will effectively work for the CEI, carrying projects and initiatives forward that are beyond the scope of any single entity in our community. The specific and immediate actions taken by the ED are laid out in Table 5: ED work plan. Broadly, the ED will improve situational awareness around specific initiatives, and facilitate the multi-sectoral partnerships that are required to unlock the significant economic potential that has been identified through the CEI update.

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