Provincial and Territorial Policies are Accelerating Community Energy Planning

Winnipeg, Manitoba – August 22, 2016. Provinces and territories need to go beyond encouraging voluntary action at the local level to meet energy and climate objectives, finds a new report released today by the Community Energy Association, QUEST – Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, and Sustainable Prosperity.

The new report, entitled Policies to Accelerate Community Energy Plans: An Analysis of British Columbia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories, is being released today at 2016 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference.

“Communities – the places where we live, work, move, and play – account for 60 percent of energy use in Canada, as well as over half of all greenhouse gas emissions,” explains Tonja Leach, A/Executive Director of QUEST. “This means that community energy planning is essential for achieving federal, provincial, and territorial government energy and climate objectives.”

The new report finds that policymakers wishing to accelerate community energy plan development should introduce a suite of policies, similar to policies found in the Province of British Columbia, the Province of Ontario, and the Northwest Territories, that:

  • Go beyond encouraging voluntary action at the local level;
  • Enable community energy plan development;
  • Require commitment from local governments; and,
  • Provide components of the plan, such as energy inventories and/or staff resources.

“We can learn from the high level of community energy plan development in jurisdictions like British Columbia, Ontario and the Northwest Territories where specific policies have been found to have a positive impact,” explains Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director of the Community Energy Association.


“Community energy planning provides a pathway for federal, provincial and territorial governments to achieve deep energy and GHG reductions because it provides a platform for meaningful partnerships to form and grow.” said Mike Wilson, Executive Director of Sustainable Prosperity. “Today’s new report sheds light on the policy development that needs to take place provincially.”

For more information:

Download the report:

Download the Executive Summary here (PDF).
Download the full report here (PDF).
Download the policy database here (PDF).

About Community Energy Association (CEA)

CEA supports local governments in developing and implementing community energy and emissions plans (also known as climate action plans, community energy plans, and local action plans). We also help local governments with carbon neutral action plans for their operations.


QUEST is the leader advancing Smart Energy Communities that reduce GHG emissions, lower energy use, drive the adoption of clean technologies, and foster local economic development in Canada. Established in 2007, QUEST has a national grassroots network including over 10,000 contacts in organizations across Canada from local, provincial and territorial governments, utilities, energy service providers, building and land owners and operators, and clean technology companies working at the community level to advance Smart Energy Communities. Follow us: @QUESTCanada

About Sustainable Prosperity (SP)

SP is a national research and policy network, based at the University of Ottawa. SP focuses on market-based approaches to build a greener, more competitive economy. It brings together business, policy and academic leaders to help innovative ideas inform policy development. Follow us: @sustpro

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