Oakville Town Council endorses Community Energy Plan strategy and priority projects

Thu, 27 Feb 2020

At a special Council meeting on February 25, 2020, Council made an historic leap forward in taking action on climate change by unanimously endorsing the Oakville Energy Task Force’s Community Energy Plan (CEP) and its strategy and priority projects.

In June 2019, Council unanimously declared a climate emergency. The CEP directly supports the declaration by providing clear and achievable targets to significantly lower community greenhouse gas emissions and improve our overall energy efficiency.

“The town is one stakeholder, among many, that is committed to working on implementation of this plan, and we owe our thanks to the Oakville Energy Task Force for this great start,” said Mayor Burton. “We as a community can embrace this plan to help us face the challenges ahead; to do better than we have been doing so far.”

Oakville’s Energy Task Force was formed in 2018 and comprises a team of 19 community leaders from local businesses, government, utilities, schools and community groups to advise and champion the development and implementation of the plan.

“As a community, we need to come together to work collaboratively with a sense of hope and optimism to take measured steps towards implementing the CEP for our current and future generations,” said Councillor Peter Longo, who represents the town on the Energy Task Force.

Using a 2016 baseline, the goals set out in the plan are to:

  • increase energy efficiency by at least 40 per cent by 2041.
  • enable transition to a goal of carbon neutrality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2041.
  • return at least $7 billion in cumulative energy cost savings to the community by 2041.

The CEP breaks down into four core strategic directions:

  1. Homes and buildings
  2. Industrial efficiency
  3. Local supply and distribution
  4. Transportation efficiency

Co-chairs of the Energy Task Force, Michelle McCollum of Sheridan College and John Matthiesen of Hatch outlined the CEP’s strategy and priority projects, acknowledging that residential homes make up more than a quarter of the community’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“We believe that what we are doing is exceptional, recognizing that addressing the challenges that we face and committing to a future of conscious decision making and tangible action isn’t just a government issue, it isn’t just industry’s issue, and it isn’t just the community’s issue. It’s our collective responsibility to acknowledge that we have a problem, develop a way forward and implement action that leads us to a community-driven solution,” said Michelle McCollum.

At the meeting, Council also directed staff to review options to implement a specific tax levy to support dedicated funding for climate change initiatives within the town as part of the 2021 budget process.

To learn more about the CEP’s strategy and priority projects, review the staff report and watch the Special Council meeting.