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News Release

QUEST Pre-Budget Submission Challenges the Federal Government to Think Local


Aug 8, 2019

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, Ontario – August 8, 2019 

QUEST has submitted recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in advance of the 2020 Federal Budget.

Canada faces several challenges on the energy and climate change front – and they appear to be growing more intractable. There is a badly underappreciated aspect of the debate which holds the promise of changing the trajectory after three decades of policy characterized by at best, mixed results – Smart Energy Communities.

A Smart Energy Community understands the compelling challenge of climate change while recognizing the reality of community energy needs and priorities. It seamlessly integrates local, renewable, and conventional energy sources to efficiently, cleanly, and affordably meet its energy needs.

Everyone wins in a Smart Energy Community, but especially residents. The approach yields stronger local economies, lower energy costs for citizens and corporations, improved resilience and security and cleaner air, land and water.

With this focus our recommendations for Budget 2020 fall under three themes:

1. Support for Policy and Regulatory Reform. Augment funding for programs and initiatives which support policy & regulatory reform regarding Smart Energy Communities and low-emission energy systems.

2. Support for Social Innovation. Create a Social Energy Innovation Fund to invest in initiatives that develop new community energy planning practices and methods.

3. Support for Community Energy Planning and Community Resilience.  Provide stable and predictable financial resources, including green municipal bonds, as well as long-term funding to strengthen local governments’ climate and energy staff capacity.

“It is critical for the federal government to recognize the importance of Smart Energy Communities in meeting our climate and economic objectives. Communities are the pathway to a low-emission future and they need support and an enabling environment to lead the way,” said Tonja Leach, Executive Director at QUEST.

Tonja Leach

Executive Director, QUEST

Download the Submission


QUEST is a national non-government organization that works to accelerate the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers. The organization commissions research, communicates best practices, convenes government, utility, and private-sector leaders, and works directly with local authorities to implement on-the-ground solutions. QUEST recognizes communities that have embraced these principles by referring to them as Smart Energy Communities.


Cheryl Ratchford
Director, Policy & Communications
Toll Free: (866) 494-2770 ext. 703
[email protected]



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