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Planning Alignment

Energy Community of Practice

Project Overview

For many municipalities, there is a disconnect between broader provincial planning policies and programs and local energy planning efforts, adding a layer of complexity and uncertainty to community energy planning activities.

The Ontario Energy Community of Practice (ECOP) initiative focuses on providing education and capacity building for Ontario municipalities, utilities and other local stakeholders to develop and implement community energy plans, and helping align local, regional and provincial energy planning activities.

ECOP is building the capacity of Ontario municipalities to develop and implement community energy plans (CEPs) through the development of training tools, sharing of best practices and facilitation of peer-to-peer collaboration. ECOP is also helping municipalities better understand how their local energy planning priorities fit within provincial policies and programs, with a focus on supporting the Ministry of Energy’s Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) Program and the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) regional electricity planning program.

ECOP is being led by QUEST and the Clean Air Partnership and is being supported by the Independent Electricity System Operator.

Project Objectives

The objectives of the ECOP initiative are to:

  • Build an understanding of the benefits of community energy plans (CEPs) to accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and advance economic development opportunities
  • Provide training, resources and skills to build municipal capacity towards the development and implementation of CEPs
  • Foster improved partnerships and collaborations with key stakeholders (especially utilities and energy companies) and better enable these communities to identify priority local energy projects
  • Help municipalities understand the link between community energy planning and the IESO’s regional electricity planning program

ECOP Training Modules and Resources

The Ontario Energy Community of Practice Initiative (ECOP) has developed resources including three Training Modules and a set of video presentations to support community energy planning activities in Ontario. These resources are designed to serve the needs of municipalities across Ontario and support development and implementation of Community Energy Plans (CEPs). These resources were tested and refined with feedback from stakeholders in the GTA North regional planning area.

ECOP Symposium

In September 2015, the ECOP initiative hosted a Symposium in Markham, Ontario. The objective of the Symposium was to present and obtain feedback on the ECOP Training Modules. . This report contains an overview of the Symposium proceedings, including a project summary, notes from guest presentations and a summary of the facilitated roundtable discussions.

Training Modules

The following ECOP Training Modules are provided in PowerPoint format, giving you the flexibility to use and modify the content according to your specific needs. The content of the modules is catered to the project’s two target stakeholder groups – municipalities and utilities – however they may be useful to a variety of community stakeholders interested in supporting and engaging in community energy planning.

Module 1: Community Energy Planning Benefits and Applications

Module 1 provides information on the rationale for why a municipality would engage in community energy planning, the benefits that can result from developing and implementing a Community Energy Plan (CEP) and how CEPs can support other municipal priorities.

Module 2: Community Energy Planning within the Broader Provincial Energy Planning Framework

Module 2 focuses on the relationship between the IESO’s regional planning process and community energy planning. This module delves into the regional planning process and examines the electricity planning landscape including key actors and policy considerations.

Module 3: Community Energy Plan Implementation

Module 3 includes insights from the Community Energy Planning: Getting to Implementation in Canada initiative being led by the Community Energy Association, QUEST and the Smart Prosperity Institute. It examines key success factors and challenges for CEP implementation and includes information about how municipal planning tools can be leveraged to support CEP implementation.

Module 4: Community Energy in Action

Module 4 showcases key features of some of the most successful community energy projects in action across Canada. The module is intended to guide your community toward an implementation-focused conversation on energy.

Update on Active IRRPs

External Stakeholder Identification and Engagement Presentation

CEP Actions Identification, Selection & Accountability Presentation

Implementing a CEP: Many Hands Make Light Work Presentation

Project Partners

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