Green Toolbox - News & Resources: September-October, 2012

NEWS & RESOURCES

THE MAYOR’S MEGAWATT CHALLENGE FORUM
NOVEMBER 19 IN TORONTO

Mayors Megawatt Challenge

In 2011 The Mayors' Megawatt Challenge went national with the Town Hall Challenge, engaging over 60 cities and towns in identifying and recognizing some of the most energy efficient buildings in Canada.  Rothesay, New Brunswick, St. Catharines, Ontario, and Fredericton, New Brunswick were crowned the most energy-efficient Town Halls in Canada.  The Challenge results showed Canada’s leading town and city halls are already performing at 20 ekWh per square foot.   The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) invites you to take the Town Hall 20 by '15 Pledge to achieve this target in your own town or town hall by 2015.  In addition, a new nationwide Community Centre challenge will be launched at the first annual Mayors' Megawatt Challenge Forum to be held on November 19th in Toronto.

TRCA encourages you to attend the forum to:

  • Find out how the top performing town halls operate on so little energy
  • Learn how to assess your own facilities and work towards energy targets based on top-performers
  • Meet other municipalities actively reducing energy  consumption

An agenda along with a description of the Mayors' Megawatt Challenge and the 20 by '15 Pledge can be found by visiting:  http://trca.on.ca/the-living-city/programs-of-the-living-city/mayors-megawatt-challenge/index.dot

SURVEY FOR SUSTAINABILITY PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

ICLEI has teamed up with the University of Waterloo's School of Enterprise, Environment & Development to learn more about how Canadian municipalities are implementing their community sustainability plans. The purpose of this exciting project is to improve our understanding of how the management or governance for implementing community sustainability plans can influence outcomes.  They will explore two types of outcomes.

  1. Plan outcomes, related to the goals set in the plans (e.g., GHG emission reductions or water quality improvements)
  2. Partner outcomes, related to the experience of your partners (e.g., innovation or gained knowledge).

They need your professional expertise in local sustainable development to learn about your community sustainability plan's implementation!  As an incentive to participate and a special thank you for your time, those who fill out the survey will have the option to be entered in a draw to WIN a free registration to ICLEI's Livable Cities Forum on November 29-30. As well, you will receive one additional ballot for each partner involved in your community sustainability plan that fills out a survey. A second draw will also be done where you will be entered to WIN one of five $100 gift cards from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

There are two surveys: one for local government representatives (i.e., you) and one for your community sustainability plan partners:

  1. Local Government Survey: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/LGsharinglocalknowledgeE/
  2. Community Sustainability Plan Partners Survey (please send your partners a brief introduction to the survey and the link below):http://fluidsurveys.com/s/partnerssharinglocalknowledgeE/

 

THE NATIONAL ROUND TABLE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY (NRTEE) RELEASES NEW RESOURCE

Framing the Future: Embracing the Low-Carbon Economy outlines a low-carbon growth framework for Canada, highlighting the policy directions our public and private sector leaders need to pursue. Canada’s low-carbon future is about energy, innovation, and trade. Canada needs to ensure adequate flows of investment, strengthen its governance and ensure it has the human capital to successfully pull off the transition to a low-carbon economy. The task is not a small one, but one Canadians must collectively pursue to prosper in the twenty-first century.

To view this report, visit:  http://nrtee-trnee.ca/framing-the-future-embracing-the-low-carbon-economy-3

 

EGSPA REPORT RELEASED

According to the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act 2011-12 Progress Report, Nova Scotians are enjoying a cleaner, greener environment as we work towards the 21 goals outlined in the Act.  Nova Scotia has achieved 14 of the goals, and work continues to meet the remaining targets. Other highlights include:

  • Releasing a natural resources strategy in August 2011 that will guide the management of the province's biodiversity, forests, geological resources and provincial parks.
  • Putting a wetlands conservation policy in place last December to protect important ecosystems by preventing the net loss of wetlands.
  • Encouraging the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated lands through new regulations announced in March. This will better protect our environment and encourage development and economic growth in communities.
  • Ensuring all sewage treatment facilities in the province complied with guidelines for handling and treating septage by last December, fulfilling another legislated goal.

To view a copy of the report, visit:  www.gov.ns.ca/nse/egspa.

 

GUIDELINES RELEASED BY SNSMR TO PROVIDE CLARIFICATION ON ELIGIBLE COSTS FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING RETROFITS

Service Nova Scotia & Municipal Relations has developed the guidelines to provide clarification on eligible costs when using Federal Gas Tax Funding towards energy-efficient municipal building retrofits as per Schedule 1 of the amended Municipal Funding Agreement (2010-2014).   Schedule 1 provides the municipality with criteria for determining eligible costs for community energy projects for municipal building retrofits using Federal Gas Tax Funding.  This includes energy consumption/reduction investments (such as energy-efficient building retrofits based on an energy audit and LED lighting upgrades)”.  For these projects, an energy audit is required to show quantifiable outcome measures for the new/replacement items.  The cost of the energy audit is also eligible for Federal Gas Tax Funding.  It is also important to note that:

  • Energy efficiency upgrades must exceed current National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) standards.
  • Documentation of upgrades that exceed the NBCC standards must be maintained for outcomes reporting and in the case of an audit.
  • It is recommended that the Province review projects for eligibility prior to using Federal Gas Tax Funding. 

For more information, contact Rene Frigault, Planning & Development Officer, CAN/NS Infrastructure Secretariat, SNSMR by email: () or telephone (424-2088).

 

THE PROVINCE IS SEEKING FEEDBACK FOR THE COMFIT REVIEW

The Province will be asking for feedback on how to improve the Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program, which was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan and officially launched last September. Since then, more than 45 projects have been approved and dozens more are finalizing business plans.

The Province is undertaking a review of the program and will be seeking feedback on different components as the review unfolds.  The review will include public consultation and discussions with those in the program and will examine applicant eligibility, geographical distribution, eligible technologies, quantity of energy being offered, community engagement and support, things learned from previous projects and administration. During the review, the Department of Energy will not accept applications for wind projects of more than 50 kilowatts. Projects already in the application system will be processed.   Information on the COMFIT review can be found at www.nsrenewables.ca/comfit-review.

 

PARTNERS FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION PROGRAM NEWS:  SEPTEMBER’S GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION INITIATIVES OF THE MONTH IS HRM’S MINI-HYBRID BUS SYSTEM

As part of its 2005 energy and GHG emissions inventory, HRM determined that fleet vehicles were responsible for about 8,500 tonnes of emissions each year. To reduce fleet vehicle emissions, HRM implemented a number of measures, including replacing the traditional hydraulic-fan system in Metro Transit buses with a slide-in, controllable electric-fan package.  This mini-hybrid thermal unit, on average, cuts fuel consumption by about 10 per cent.

For more information on HRM’s initiative, visit:  http://www.fcm.ca/home/programs/partners-for-climate-protection/program-resources/greenhouse-gas-reduction-initiatives/2012.htm.

 

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES FORWARD ON TOUGH RULES FOR COAL-FIRED ELECTRICITY SECTOR
SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 (AN ARTICLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA)

Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent announced final regulations for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from coal-fired electricity generation.

"Canada already boasts one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, with three-quarters of our electricity supply emitting no greenhouse gases," said Minister Kent. "These regulations will further strengthen our position as a world leader in clean electricity production, while continuing to grow our economy and create jobs."

The regulations apply a stringent performance standard to new electricity generation units and old units that have reached the end of their economic life. In the first 21 years, the regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction in GHG emissions of about 214 megatonnes—equivalent to removing some 2.6 million personal vehicles per year from the road.

Reducing emissions from coal-fired electricity—which is responsible for 11 percent of Canada's total GHG emissions—is an important step toward meeting Canada's 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the improved air quality that will result from the regulations will have a direct impact on the health of Canadians.

The new performance standard for coal-fired electricity generating units will come into force on July 1, 2015.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca