Windsor’s Community Energy Plan – Community Engagement and Data Driven

Abstract

The Windsor Environmental Master Plan (EMP) and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan (Plan) is a powerful example of developing a straightforward, data-driven, long-term community energy and climate master plan, with a high degree of stakeholder engagement. In its early stages, the Plan is already having an influence in informing other communities in Canada. This presentation will focus on the development of the Plan, including setting transformational, quantifiable goals and laying out an actionable next step plan for implementation.

In 2017, the City Council unanimously approved the Plan and the early implementation steps are underway. The analytical and strategic basis for the CEP covered the period from 2014 to 2041 and modeling and mapping all of the City’s energy end use, cost, emissions and utility needs, by both sector and neighbourhood, for each of the coming 25 years.  This allowed various combinations of strategies to be simulated and discussed with a Stakeholder Advisory Group and the community at large, to arrive at the recommendations in the Plan.

The Plan goals clearly support Ontario’s Climate Action plan by cutting total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% relative to 2014, and targeting energy use per capita to fall by 40% by 2041 to bring it more in line with world-class best practices. Economically, all major investments in energy productivity need to be at least as attractive as 20-year municipal bonds. Implementation of the Plan will create at least 3,000 new jobs by 2025.

The Plan calls for most existing homes and buildings to have deep renovations completed by 2041; proliferation of industrial best practices into the wider industrial and commercial sectors; expanding its existing downtown district energy system and adding substantial amounts of distributed clean and renewable energy generation; and a wide range of transportation measures including more a compact urban design, encouraging use of mass transit and the shift to electric vehicles. Implementation of these measures will create between $8 and $12 Billion (CAD) of cumulative savings for Windsor, stimulating accelerated economic growth and increased levels of local employment, and meet or exceed the challenging environmental goals.

Presented By

Karina Richters
Supervisor, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change
City of Windsor

In her current role, Karina Richters is responsible for the implementation of the City of Windsor’s Environmental Master Plan (EMP) and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Over the last 18 months, Karina has been the Project Manager for the development of the Community Energy Plan and the City of Windsor’s Corporate Climate Change Action Plan. The City’s plan received unanimous support from City Council in July 2017.

Karina also works closely with the Senior Manager of Asset Management to embed environmental sustainability and climate change considerations into the City’s asset management policies and framework.