In 2019, Oakville Town Council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency recognizing the important role communities play in fulfilling Canada’s Paris Climate Agreement commitment. Now Oakville joins hundreds of communities across Canada, representing approximately 60 per cent of the country’s population, to undergo a community energy planning process. Oakville's Community Energy Strategy (pdf) directly supports Council’s climate emergency declaration by providing clear and achievable goals to significantly lower community greenhouse gas emissions and improve our overall energy efficiency while strengthening the local economy.
Community energy planning and implementation helps the town, residents and businesses work together to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the local economy and building an affordable and reliable energy future.
The ultimate goal is to help us as a community:
In 2020, the Town of Oakville approved a Community Energy Strategy (CES) (pdf) that established community-wide targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent by 2041 and 80 per cent by 2050. The CES identified that residential energy is responsible for about 33 per cent of the town’s total energy use and is the second largest source of the town’s GHG emissions at 27 per cent.
In 2021, the Oakville Energy Task Force initiated the creation of Future Energy Oakville (FEO). The FEO’s purpose is to oversee the implementation of the Community Energy Strategy. One of the priority projects of the CES is the development of a residential energy retrofit program. Retrofitting existing buildings represents a significant opportunity to reduce energy use and costs, and associated GHG emissions. Buildings (residential and commercial) can often account for over half of a municipality’s GHG emissions. So, in order to achieve GHG reduction targets in a municipality, it is necessary to address energy use within the existing building stock and find innovative approaches to finance retrofits. Such a program can also help create jobs in the contractor, trades, and renovation sectors, and make the building stock more comfortable, healthy, and resilient to extreme weather events, creating a more sustainable Oakville, and improving livability.
The Town of Oakville and Oakville Hydro are collaborating on a feasibility study that seeks to understand the potential for a home energy retrofit program that uses local improvement charges (LICs) to encourage homeowners to implement retrofits, increase energy efficiency, and reduce energy use and costs. The LIC regulation is an existing tool available under the Municipal Act, 2001. This tool can be a financing mechanism to give homeowners access to the upfront capital cost to complete energy retrofits. The amount is paid back through the homeowner’s property tax payment. If you sell your home before the end of the loan, the responsibility to finish paying off the loan would transfer to the new homeowner.
From March 7 to March 27, the town invited Oakville residents who own detached, semi-detached, and townhome properties to take a home retrofit survey to share their input and past experiences and goals related to home energy. A two-hour focus group was also held on March 24. Here’s what we heard:
Survey results are being integrated into the final report and recommendations, which are currently in development, and will be presented to Council in spring/summer 2022.
Total of $620 million!
At least $500 million leaves our community.
Oakville’s Community Energy Strategy was developed for the community, by the community. Oakville's Energy Task Force is an enthusiastic team of community leaders from local businesses, government, utilities, schools and community groups that convened six times over 2019 to shape the vision, goals, targets and actions of the Strategy and continue to meet to advise and champion its implementation.
Blake Smith began his career with Walker Industries in 1978 and moved to Ford Motor Company of Canada in 1992. As the manager of environmental quality, he was principally responsible for facility-related environmental issues. In 1998, he was appointed to director, environment, energy and vehicle safety. In this capacity, Smith is responsible for vehicle and facility environmental matters, energy issues, vehicle safety and several other technical areas.
Brian Lennie’s focus area for Enbridge Gas is municipal relations in Ontario South/West, an area stretching from Windsor to Halton Region, and also includes community outreach on large gas transmission and distribution projects. Lennie’s career in the utility sector over the past 12 years has also included several years with a local municipal electric utility in business development, including two years with its renewable energy affiliate company. Lennie has experience in community energy and climate change planning, previously in Hamilton.
Fraser Damoff is with the IESO’s Energy Efficiency Program Delivery team where he helps deliver energy efficiency programs for Ontario homeowners as well as large multi-site businesses. He is also the executive director of Cycle Oakville, spokesperson for the Save Glen Abbey Coalition and a long-time advocate for the protection of greenspace in Oakville and the building of safe, connected cycling infrastructure. Damoff earned a Master of Arts from Brock University with a specialization in Ontario's energy sector, as well as a certificate in New Venture Financing from the University of Maryland.
Harry Shea’s career spans over 25 years and includes launching numerous new products, launching a new start-up company as well as leading two acquisitions which were merged into one stand-alone company where he served as President. Shea left corporate America in 1998 to start his own consulting company focused on European small and medium-sized enterprises. Shea has a BBA in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago. He is also a graduate of the Crosby Quality Management College and serves on the Board of the Bronte Village Residents Association.
Over Ian Gaudet's 25-year career, he has supported or led the completion of approximately $1B in public infrastructure construction projects in southwestern Ontario.Gaudet’s career also includes private sector consulting in Ontario, British Columbia, and Michigan before joining the public sector in progressive leadership roles at the City of Windsor, St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, the Waterloo Region District School Board, and in his current role with the Halton District School Board. Gaudet has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, a Professional Engineer designation and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Windsor.
John Matthiesen’s 20 years of power sector experience includes thermal energy, renewable energy, distributed energy resources, and Smart Grid & Asset Management Programs. Matthiesen has managed power plant overhauls, advised on the development of multi-billion-dollar offshore wind projects, facilitated corporate strategy plans, and lead cost reduction & asset optimization projects. Currently, Matthiesen leads a team at Hatch responsible for helping clients embrace the energy transition through resiliency planning, grid modernization, asset management, technology assessments, and general energy consulting services.
Josh Shook is responsible for the Municipal Energy Plan program at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. He has a strong background with municipal energy planning, energy conservation programs, policy research, energy and greenhouse gas analysis, and stakeholder engagement. Shook graduated from the University of Guelph with a major in Environmental Science.
Karen Brock has a passion for protecting the environment and human health. She believes that global action on the environment starts where you live. Brock has been president of Oakvillegreen since 2011, and a board member since 2010. She was a key member in the creation of Halton’s first and award-winning schoolyard naturalization project in 1997. Brock received an Ontario Heritage Trust Award in 2012 for her efforts in preserving the Province’s Natural Heritage, and the Government of Canada’s Sesquicentennial Award in 2017 for her work protecting and enhancing Oakville’s environment.
Lisa Kohler is a Climate Realty Leader and community engager discussing climate challenges, strategies, mitigation and adaptation. Kohler serves on Halton Region’s Natural Heritage Advisory Committee, Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable and The Halton District School Board’s Environmental Management Team. She is a certified Accredited Partnership Broker. Kohler is the orchestrator of the Halton Climate Collective, a dedicated team driving local climate change. She oversees multiple successful programs including Halton Green Screens, Oakville Resiliency Hub and Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel Chapter.
Michelle McCollum leads all aspects of Sheridan’s built-environment including sustainability, land-use and infrastructure planning, new construction, renovations and facilities management. As a public sector leader, McCollum has spent over 25 years in municipal government, and education administration in the UK and Canada driving key strategic initiatives, capital infrastructure development, and organizational transformation. From early in her career, McCollum has been a strong advocate for sustainability principles, social responsibility and a community focused approach. This has led to successful partnerships and outcomes in many public-sector projects and initiatives.
Mike Branch leads the charge for developing solutions that enable insights from over 1.4 million connected vehicles and 30 billion telematics records that Geotab processes on a daily basis. Branch joined the Geotab team in 2016, and prior to that was the CEO of Inovex Inc. which in 2013, spun off a brand-new entity: Maps BI, which was later acquired by Geotab. He has received numerous honours including the University of Toronto’s Arbor Award and Early Career Award, Engineers Canada Young Engineer Award, Professional Engineers of Ontario Engineering Medal, and the Cloud Innovation World Cup.
Mike LaPlante began his career as a civil engineer in the Boston, Massachusetts area in 2000. His career has covered Massachusetts, Florida and Ontario over the past 20 plus years. LaPlante has experience in many aspects of the homebuilding and land development industry and is focused on optimizing the resources available and delivering a quality product or service on a consistent basis. In his current role with Minto Communities Canada he leads a team of land development professionals working in the Greater Toronto Area. LaPlante is also a member of the Halton Region Developers Liaison Committee.
Pauline Watson is a professional engineer with 37+ years of experience providing engineering services and business planning support to Ontario’s electricity generating stations, including 22 years at Ontario Power Generation. Her second career began in 2013 when she completed a Master’s in Engineering and Public Policy from the School of Engineering Practice at McMaster University, and incorporated a business to provide Engineering and Sustainable Policy consulting. She is currently a member of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Environmental Task Force, a Climate Reality Leader and a member of QUEST.
Councillor Longo has a passion for the environment and community involvement. He is the past chair of Halton Region’s Natural Heritage Advisory Committee (NHAC) and was previously the chair of the Ecological and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) for Halton Region advising on all matters relating to natural heritage, ecology and the environment. In 2002, he was appointed to represent residents on the municipal Stakeholder Advisory Committee countering development pressures in north Oakville. An accomplished business executive, he has 22 years of experience in driving sustainable value chain improvement in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries.
Scott Mudie is an executive with extensive international exposure, working in such countries as China, Mexico and the USA. Mudie brings direct experience in mergers and acquisitions from the renewable electricity generation, construction, utility services and energy services space. He is a forward-thinking leader known for strong consultative leadership. He is an Ivey Scholar, and earned his MBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Mudie is also chair of Ontario One Call’s Board of Directors and holds a seat on the Board of The MEARIE Group and the Canadian Electricity Association Distribution Council.
Phil Santana works across the home building industry to position Mattamy Homes on the frontier of innovation. His consulting engineering and development background provides the foundation for his work while always maintaining an outcome-based mindset. During Santana's time at Mattamy, he has worked with various municipalities to explore, develop, and implement their sustainability and innovation goals while balancing industry and market perspectives.
Ryan Merrick is currently the superintendent of Facility Management Services, overseeing school operations and capital projects. Throughout his career, Merrick has held many roles in building operations, maintenance and construction, in both the private and public sectors. Merrick is a University of Waterloo graduate and registered Professional Engineer in Ontario.
Zaheer Muhammed leads the Corporate Business Development and Value Co-Creation program for Siemens Canada. With over 13 years of Siemens experience in multiple countries across the globe, Muhammed’s focus in Canada is on strategic initiatives around Smart Infrastructure covering topics such as Smart Cities, Grid Edge Technologies, IoT, eMobility and decarbonization of infrastructure. In his current role, he has been actively working with Canadian utilities and infrastructure developers on futuristic co-creation projects. Muhammed holds an MS in Digital Communications from London, UK and an MBA from Manchester Business School, UK. He lives in Oakville with his family including three young kids.
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