Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy
Energy Evolution [ PDF 12.813 MB ] is the action plan for how Ottawa will meet its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040 within the corporation, and by 2050 Ottawa-wide. Its vision is to transform Ottawa into a thriving city powered by clean, renewable energy.
Realizing Energy Evolution’s vision will require concerted efforts and collaboration across all sectors of the community.
Energy Evolution is one of eight priorities in the Climate Change Master Plan. The Climate Change Master Plan is the City’s overarching framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the current and future events of climate change.
For a detailed overview of Energy Evolution watch the Energy Evolution Technical Briefing or view the slides from the presentation.
My name is Byrne Furlong and I will be your moderator today. Je serai votre modératrice pour aujourd’hui.
Scott Moffatt, Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management will provide some remarks and introduce City staff.
Following staff presentations, Chair Moffatt will also moderate a question-and-answer session with members of Council and their staff.
15 minutes after the end of the technical briefing, I will moderate a question-and-answer session for the media. Media wishing to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.
Bienvenue à la séance d’information technique relative à évolution énergétique
Scott Moffatt, Président du Comité permanent de la protection de l'environnement, de l'eau et de la gestion des déchets, introduira les présentateurs d’aujourd’hui.
Après les présentations, Président Moffatt animera une période de questions en compagnie des membres du Conseil municipal et de leurs employés.
15 minutes suivant la fin de la séance d’information, je présiderai ensuite une autre période de questions destinée aux médias.
Before I pass things over to Chair Moffat, I'd like to go over a few items. Though I think everyone is familiar with Zoom meetings now, a friendly reminder to place your microphone on mute.
To view the City official who is speaking on Zoom, please put your view on “Speaker” view instead of “Gallery” view. The button for this is located in the top right corner of the Zoom video screen.
Veuillez changer votre écran au mode « Speaker » en anglais pour pouvoir mieux voir les porte-paroles. Le bouton est situé en haut à la droite de la portion vidéo de l’écran.
Veuillez noter que la présentation est disponible en français sur la page YouTube Ville d’Ottawa.
I now pass things over to Councillor Scott Moffatt, Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management, who will begin today’s briefing.
Thank you so much Byrne and welcome to everyone here, welcome members of Council to staff and media.
We want to build on what was a very successful technical briefing that we held several months ago just at the beginning of the pandemic in our virtual lives. Uh and it went, uh it was quite well received. It’s actually had over 500 views on YouTube and is still there and available to be viewed.
So today we have a technical briefing on the final report for Energy Evolution, a City strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, manage energy use, promote renewable energy and advance local economic development opportunities.
We’ve been working on this for quite a while. I know I’ve had the please, originally sat on a sponsors group with Councillors Nussbaum, Brockington and Chernushenko which then led into this term and we have our, our sponsors group that are help overseeing matters related to Climate Change Master Plan as well so thank you to everyone involved who helped us get to this point.
Earlier this year, as you know, Council approved targets to reduce emissions by 100 per cent by 2040 within the corporation and by 2050 Ottawa wide. Council also declared a climate emergency last year, highlighting our commitment to protect our economy, ecosystems and community from the impacts of climate change. Today staff will present an ambitious plan to reach these targets. Now it’s important to note and we’ll say I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again this is not a plan that we can accomplish alone. We’re going to need collaboration, investment from all sectors and all levels of government. Meeting our targets outlined today will require an estimated $52.6 billion on top of planned investments over the next 30 years. The good news is and again this is something mentioned before, doing good for the environment and fiscal responsibility go hand in hand. These two things are not mutually exclusive. Savings and revenue would start to exceed annual investments in 2032 with a projected net return of $87.7 billion for investments made by 2050. I’ve got a Mike Pence fly flying around me here. Transitioning to low carbon energy sources is good for more than our bottom line. It will help grow the local economy, improve public health, equity and inclusion, increase climate resiliency and mitigate the effects of climate change. We in collaboration with our partners, residents, local businesses and other levels of government have a lot of work on in order for us to reach zero emissions. Fortunately, we started building these relationships throughout the Energy Evolution process, which as I mentioned has been going on for a few years now. The city has benefited immensely from the feedback and leadership provided by community stakeholders as we have developed Energy Evolution. As such I’d like to sincerely thank the nearly 200 public and private stakeholders representing more than 90 organizations who participated in Sounding Board meetings and technical workshops over the course of this project and these workshops were held throughout the City. Jennifer Brown, the project lead for Energy Evolution will now take us through a model that shows that we collect what we collectively need to do to meet our targets. She will also outline the 20 projects that will help reduce emissions over the next five years. Another key decision on that in recent weeks has been the ability to retain the funds from the Council approved through the hydro dividend surplus which will all help go toward implementing those projects at least 13 of the 20 projects.
So with us today, in addition to Jen are Marilyn Journeaux who’s the associate general manager of planning, infrastructure and economic development. Don Herweyer, director of economic development and long-range planning and Andrea Flowers who is the section manager of the climate change and resiliency team. Because Energy Evolution touches on all aspects of City operations we also have staff from other parts of planning, infrastructure and economic development, public works and environmental services, transportation services, recreation, cultural and facility services, finance services, innovative client services and fleet services available to answer questions after the presentation. I will now hand it over to Marilyn. Ms Journeaux.
Thank you Chair. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to coordinate a long-term plan of this scale and scope. I want to thank, introduce and acknowledge the Energy Evolution project team, including the section manager Andrea Flowers, the project lead Jen Brown and our technical experts Michael Fletcher, Janice Ashworth, Rebecca Hagen, our planner Melissa Jort-Conway and our communications and engagement coordinator Emma Langham. I’d also like to recognize the efforts of our colleagues across the organization. We know that it will take staff across the City to work as one City one team to address climate change and I’m grateful that our colleagues are here to support the Energy Evolution team and respond to questions if necessary. I will now hand it over to Jennifer to walk us through an overview of Energy Evolution.
Thanks Marilyn and good morning to everyone on today’s call. I would like to start by saying that while I am presenting on behalf of the project team, I would like to recognize that the information presented today is a reflection of the hardworking and collective efforts of the entire project team. Next slide.
Today's technical briefing will walk through the staff report recommendations, Council directions received since the project’s inception, an overview of Energy Evolution including the energy and emissions model outputs, the financial analysis and the proposed projects I will also provide an overview of consultation and engagement activities and reporting and next steps. Next slide.
On October 20th, staff will bring forward the following report recommendations to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water, and Waste Management. That the Standing Committee recommend that Council receive the final report for Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy and supporting documents attached as Document 1 through Document 9 and summarized in this report; to Receive the list of projects identified in Documents 7 and 8 to be more fully developed by staff and brought before Standing Committee and Council for approval, where required; direct staff leading new or updates to City plans, strategies and policies to take into consideration the energy emissions model and the City’s GHG reduction targets in the development of such plans, strategies and policies; and approve that the 2019 Hydro Ottawa Dividend Surplus of $2.6 million be used to fund the proposed spending plan attached as Document 11 and summarized in this report. Next slide.
Energy Evolution has been in development since 2015 when Council directed staff to develop a Renewable Energy Strategy in collaboration with community partners. This strategy was to include a baseline analysis of energy supply and demand within Ottawa and an assessment of options to advance energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Later re-named Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy, Council received Phase 1 of Energy Evolution in 2017 which directed staff to implement short-term actions as well as to complete Phase 2 of the strategy, the latter of which included the development of a custom-built energy, emissions and finance model. In 2019, Council declared a climate emergency for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening Ottawa’s commitment to protecting our economy, our ecosystems, and our community from climate change. The climate emergency was declared in response to the emerging science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report to limit global warming increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Less than a year after the emergency declaration, Council approved the Climate Change Master Plan, the overarching framework for how Ottawa will both mitigate and adapt to climate change over the coming decades. This Plan set new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, as well as eight priority actions to be undertaken over the next five years, one of which is the implementation of Energy Evolution. Today, we are discussing the final Energy Evolution strategy, a culmination of the Council direction received over the last five years. This report and associated recommendations advance the term of Council’s priorities to reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions and embed climate change considerations across all operations. It also aims to strengthen Council’s commitment as laid out in the climate emergency declaration. Next slide.
I am happy to report that since Council declared a climate emergency last year, considerable progress has been made and a number of milestones have been achieved in this year alone. We started off the year with City Council approving the Climate Change Master Plan in January. As previously mentioned, this Plan is the overarching framework for how Ottawa will both mitigate and adapt to climate change in Ottawa over the coming decades. It set new short, mid and long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and included the latest community and corporate greenhouse gas emission inventories. This milestone was followed by another milestone in June when Council received the local climate projections, a comprehensive analysis of future climate conditions in the National Capital Region to the year 2100. This project was completed in partnership with the National Capital Commission and will inform both the development of the future vulnerability assessment and the Climate Resiliency Strategy. And staff continue to meet with the Climate Change Council Sponsors Group consisting of six City Councillors representing six different Committees to provide guidance on these various plans. The project team last met with the Council Sponsors Group in September to review the report recommendations and prepare for the technical briefing. Today we achieve another milestone with the release of the final report for Energy Evolution. Next slide.
The Council approved GHG emission reduction targets include short, mid and long-term targets with the ultimate goal of reducing community emissions by 100% by 2050 and corporate emissions by 100% by 2040. These targets align with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s target to limit global warming increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. And while today’s presentation focuses on how to achieve the long-term targets, it’s equally important to remember the short and mid term targets as meeting these targets is as important and critical to the success of achieving the long-term targets. Next slide.
So what is Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy? Next slide.
Energy Evolution is the City’s community energy transition strategy and it sets the framework for how we will achieve Ottawa’s GHG emission reduction targets. It a community wide initiative with a vision to transform Ottawa into a thriving City powered by clean, renewable energy by 2050. To achieve this vision, residents, businesses, organizations and all levels of government need to transition away from a dependence on fossil fuels by reducing energy usage through conservation and efficiency, increasing the supply of renewable energy through local and regional production and prioritizing the procurement of clean and renewable energy. Next slide.
As previously mentioned, Energy Evolution has been in progress for a number of years. Between 2016 and 2019, a total of 14 pathway studies were developed and these pathways studies are technical reports describing how a specific energy technology or improvement in energy use may be developed over time in Ottawa. Topics explored included buildings, transportation, waste, and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar. The pathway studies were developed with consultants and technical experts from the municipality, senior levels of government, utilities, developers, and subject matters experts to better understand the barriers, opportunities, and options for advancing specific energy technologies in Ottawa. The studies were then used to develop integrated, custom built energy, emissions and financial models that projected the scale and scope of action required to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and the projected investments and savings over the next 30 years. Based on this analysis, 20 priority projects were identified to be undertaken in the short term to help accelerate this action and investment. After the final Energy Evolution strategy is brought before Committee and Council later this month, there will still be more work to do to move out of the study and planning phase and into the implementation phase. Over the coming years, the Energy Evolution project team will continue to work with staff and community partners to more fully develop the priority projects and where required, specific projects, programs, policies, and resource asks will be brought forward to the relevant Standing Committee and Council for consideration. Next slide.
The list you see before you is a high-level overview of what is included in the final strategy. As mentioned in the previous slide, at the core of Energy Evolution is an energy, emissions and financial model that projects the scale and scope of action and investment required to achieve the 100% by 2050 target, or what staff refer to in the strategy as the 100% scenario. Based on the model, 20 community and municipal projects have been identified to accelerate action and investment within the next five years. The strategy also identifies the potential risks to their implementation and how these risks will be mitigated. Outside of the strategy, the staff report addresses COVID-19 considerations and includes a proposed spending plan for the Hydro Ottawa Dividend Surplus to advance these projects. Next slide.
The strategy also looks at the co-benefits and there are many co-benefits that can be achieved by reducing our emissions and transitioning to a low carbon future. One such co-benefit is reducing the impacts of climate change. The extent of future climate impacts will depend on the action taken today to reduce emissions. By taking significant action now we can avoid some of the unmanageable impacts of climate change in the future. There will also be an improvement to the local economy. Transitioning off fossil fuels will help attract investment, support innovation and create opportunities for local job creation. It will also keep a greater share of money spent on energy within the local economy. We can expect a healthier public as air quality will improve as we move away from fossil fuels, leading to a decline in cardiovascular and respiratory health effects. Physical activity and mental health will also improve as a healthy built environment encourages more active transportation and creates more opportunities for social connections. We can also expect more energy security and resiliency as increasing local renewable energy supply provides affordable energy to residents and businesses. It also helps to provide uninterrupted levels of service during extreme events. And while everyone has a role to play in meeting Ottawa’s targets, some people are better positioned than others. Experience in other municipalities suggests that when climate solutions include equity and inclusion considerations, multiple priorities can be addressed at the same time, ensuring no one gets left behind in a low-carbon transition. Next slide.
So what will it take to achieve Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets? Next slide.
This chart illustrates the two different scenarios modelled to determine what it will take to achieve the 100% by 2050 target. The Business as Planned scenario which looks at those actions already underway or planned and the 100% scenario, actions beyond what’s required under the business as planned scenario to achieve the long-term target. As you can see from this chart, the Business As Planned scenario holds Ottawa’s emissions almost flat over the next 30 years and does not get us to where we need to go to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Based on the model analysis, it will take aggressive and unprecedented action across all aspects of society if we are to collectively achieve the 100% scenario. Next slide.
We can further break down the difference between the Business As Planned Scenario and the 100% scenario by sector. Energy Evolution looked at a total of five sectors: land use and growth management, buildings, transportation, waste and renewable natural gas, and electricity. You will see that four out of the five sectors are represented here in this diagram; land use is embedded throughout. Based on the model, the buildings and transportation sectors are projected to account for roughly 75% of greenhouse gas reductions in 2050. The remaining 25% is to come from the waste and renewable sorry the waste and renewable natural gas and electricity sectors. Next slide.
And we can break it this down even further by actions. A total of 39 actions were modelled of which these five actions rose to the top as having the most significant cumulative greenhouse gas emission reduction potential to achieving the 100% scenario. Based on the previous slide where you saw 75% of projected reductions could come from the buildings and transportation sectors in 2050, it is then not surprising that four out of the five actions you see here fall within those sectors. This includes by far the top action which is to electrify personal vehicles, followed by retrofitting residential and commercial buildings, and transitioning to zero emission commercial fleets. The last top five action is to divert organics from the landfill and use this organic material to create renewable natural gas. Collectively, these five actions combine for roughly 80% of projected cumulative greenhouse gas emissions reductions required. Next slide.
So what actions are proposed over the short-term? Next slide.
Energy Evolution identifies 20 projects to be undertaken over the next five years to accelerate action and investment towards achieving the 100% scenario. These projects were selected based on their direct emission reduction potential or their ability to enable emission reductions in order to meet the requirements under the energy and emissions model. The strategy includes two to five page overviews for each project and each overview identifies the scope of the project, co-benefits, risks, project metrics, advocacy topics, both City and community key partners, timelines, resources and financials to give a sense of what these projects will entail. It should be noted that these proposed projects may be contingent on future Standing Committee and Council approval as well as future staff and budget pressures. Additionally, some projects may evaluate options beyond what’s been identified in the strategy prior to going to Standing Committee and Council in order to achieve the reductions required. Next slide.
Staff have identified projects to be undertaken within all five sectors: land use and growth management, buildings, transportation, waste and renewable natural gas, and electricity. Most of the projects are to be led by the municipality and are to be undertaken in collaboration with community partners. Within the land use sector, staff will continue working to integrate energy and climate mitigation priorities into the new Official Plan and supporting master plans. Within the buildings sector, staff will undertake projects that accelerate and finance energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, addresses infrastructure and utility requirements for new ways of heating buildings, improves building design and construction through the introduction of a high performance development standard and projects to achieve a higher building energy performance in municipally owned buildings. Next slide.
Within the transportation sector, staff will undertake projects that enable and encourage personal electric vehicle adoption, explores transitioning to zero emission vehicles for the commercial, municipal and transit fleets and that and projects that shift the reliance on personal vehicles by increasing the number of cycling, walking and transit trips. Switching to the waste and renewable natural gas sector, staff will undertake projects that divert organic waste from landfill to reduce the emissions from managing waste and explore creation of renewable natural gas. Next slide.
And within the electricity sector, staff will undertake a strategy to develop local or regional renewable electricity supplies and advance zero-emission generation at the provincial level. Staff will also be exploring projects that enable greenhouse gas emission reductions such as coordinating communications with senior levels of government, utilities, stakeholders, the broader community and other Ontario and Canadian municipalities. Engage residents, businesses and organizations to champion and take collective action to meet the targets and projects to further assess potential sources of municipal funding to fund the aforementioned projects. Next slide.
As mentioned, each project overview includes project metrics. These metrics identify the minimum results required to meet the 100% scenario over the next five years and are based off the to help apologies to help over the next five years and are based of the energy and emissions model outputs. The examples shown here give an indication of what this type of metric could look like. For example, 20% of existing commercial buildings transition to heat pumps or 7% of personal vehicles sales are electric vehicles. Both of these metrics are to be achieved by 2025. It is recognized that these metrics are aggressive but will be necessary to achieve the 100% scenario. Next slide.
So what will it cost to achieve Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets?
A community-wide financial analysis was undertaken to analyze actions that have financial impacts. As such, the analysis breaks out investments required by, and potential savings for, everyone in Ottawa including the City, residents, businesses, institutions, and organizations. The analysis is intended to identify the magnitude of funding required to implement Energy Evolution for the municipality and community partners, including senior levels of government. It is intended to assess which funding sources, financial mechanisms or delivery mechanisms may be most appropriate for implementing Energy Evolution actions and it is also to inform strategic discussions, policy direction, annual budget cycles and the Long-Term Financial Plan. The financial information presented in the strategy represents high level estimates that are currently uncommitted and unfunded capital and operational needs. Additionally the financial analysis does not commit the municipality or partners to any financial decision or provide direction on how to address funding gaps. Next slide.
The financial analysis considers total investment and savings for the community as a whole, not just for the municipality. In the first line of this table, you can see that the financial analysis indicates that apologies indicates that cumulative community-wide investments from 2020 to 2050 total $57.4 billion which has a present value of $31.8 billion. In the last line of this table, you can see that if investments were made to reach the 2050 target, the net return community-wide total would be $87.7 billion over the life of the assets or $12.4 billion when discounted to 2020 dollars. Throughout this table, you can see the breakdown of capital investments and that the operation and maintenance savings, energy savings, and carbon price savings have been considered. Next slide.
This Figure shows that there is a net financial benefit to society starting in 2032 when the net annual savings and revenues exceed the annual investments. In the short term, annual community-wide capital costs are higher, as up-front investments in buildings, vehicles, energy-related equipment and renewables are made that will lead to long-term savings. Compared to a Business as Planned scenario, annual incremental community-wide investments of approximately $1.6 billion per year would be required over the next 10 years to achieve emission reductions in line with the model. This is in 2020 dollars. The top 5 areas for incremental investment in the next 10 years include expanding and transitioning the transit fleet to zero emission at $513 million per year, retrofitting existing homes at $250 million, building better buildings at $296 million, wind energy at $147 million, and heat pumps at $122 million. From 2032 onwards, net returns are projected to be higher than in the Business-As-Planned scenario, primarily because of the saved energy costs and earned revenues from local energy generation. Next slide.
This table provides a financial breakdown of the actions within each of the five sectors. The estimated costs column includes the capital and operational costs for each action in present values and totals. Since this number is negative, it means that there is an estimated cost of $31.8 Billion. Both of the estimated net return columns include capital costs; operations and maintenance costs and savings; energy costs and savings; carbon price savings; and associated revenues. The estimated net return on Energy Evolution actions is $2.7B. If we factor in savings over a longer time frame that reflects the lifetime of the asset, the estimated net return increases to $12.7B, both in 2020 dollars. Next slide.
The City alone will not accomplish the scale of investment required and there is a need for future revenue, private capital and funding from senior levels of government, as well as the need for future annual City funding to expand staffing and resources. Given that the community has a significantly larger role to play, the City can help residents and industry catalyze private investment. Next slide.
To that end, staff have proactively sought out and submitted funding proposals to support community initiatives. Examples include a successful funding application to Natural Resources Canada for the installation of 26 electric vehicle charging stations at 12 locations in the right of way and one location at a Park and Ride. Consultations on the proposed locations are currently underway and the first installations could start as soon as December. Staff are also awaiting decision on a funding proposal to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to launch a proposed Better Homes Loan Program that would help cover the cost of home energy improvements through a local improvement charge mechanism. Staff expect to receive a decision by the end of 2020. Additionally this week, staff submitted a funding proposal to Natural Resources Canada that would help support a a municipal, a municipal building renewal and retrofit strategy. Today, staff will be submitting the second round application to the Independent Electrical Systems Operator Grid Innovation Fund for a project that would support the development of a High-Performance Development Standard for new subdivision requirements. A decision on this application is expected in 2021. Staff are also exploring additional funding opportunities offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Natural Resources Canada, and the Ministry of Energy. Beyond this, staff will continue to monitor funding opportunities including the 10 billion dollars announced by the federal government last week for e-buses, transit expansions and retrofits of large buildings. Next slide.
Staff are also recommending that Committee and Council approve a proposed spending plan for the $2.6 million Hydro Ottawa dividend surplus. The spending plan will be used to support Energy Evolution priority projects, leverage federal and provincial funds where possible, and implement energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation projects. Projects include, but are not limited to municipal building energy conservation, efficiency and fuel switching projects; staffing to support progress in electrification of vehicles, including working to upgrade and install new charging infrastructure; energy projects at wastewater treatment facility and communication, education and engagement programs that support Energy Evolution objectives. This funding is for all project related costs including feasibility and design studies, pilots, construction, and equipment acquisition or installation. Next slide.
Now realizing this level of action and investment to successfully implement all 20 projects is not without risks. And these risks include; insufficient financial support from different levels of government and the private sector to meet the budgetary and staffing needs; higher capital and operating costs, as well as lower than expected saving and revenues, beyond what’s currently estimated. There may be regulatory barriers and compliance issues that impede the municipality from action and innovation. There may be lack of uptake or buy-in from residents, businesses, industry or the municipality. There may be diverging interpretations between stakeholders on how best to achieve the 100% scenario or competing Council or departmental priorities. There may be a lack of alignment between what the Energy Evolution model calls for and recommendations that come forward for plans and strategies that directly relate to Energy Evolution and the aggressive timelines for achieving the 20 projects may not account for typical City processes or account for provincial or federal approval processes that are out of the City’s control. In 2020 introduced a new risk in that there may be changes in behavior, policy, and best practices related to COVID-19. Next slide.
On COVID-19, the pandemic has demonstrated the potential to mobilize significant resources and take widespread, decisive action based on scientific evidence. Climate change requires a similar scale of response although the actions required, the time frame to complete them and the social impacts are markedly different. COVID-19like climate change has had global, national, and local impacts on all aspects of society and the pandemic impacts everything from personal commutes to the amount of energy consumed in buildings to the manufacturing of goods. And while these impacts resulted in a small decline in emissions, the decline in emissions is anticipated to be temporary and the most acute effects are expected over the next five years. The decline in emissions is not expected to have a significant impact on the scale or scope of what's required to achieve the 100% scenario. The energy and emissions model was developed prior to the pandemic and staff recognize that there are a number of current trends that could impact the model and financial analysis, including reduced transit ridership and changes in energy usage in residential and commercial buildings, and we will continue to monitor trends and consider these impacts. Staff will also continue to monitor, advocate for, and provide input into potential provincial and federal stimulus funding that can both support recovery efforts and advance climate change initiatives. Next slide.
So to mitigate these risks to implementation, the Energy Evolution project team will continue to work with City staff, community partners, other levels of government, and the public to build out Energy Evolution projects and to act as a resource or provide technical advice on related projects. Information and recommendations to support project implementation will be shared with a Tiger Team comprised of all General Managers, the Chief Financial Officer, the City Manager’s Office and Ottawa Public Health. It will also be shared with the Climate Change Council Sponsors Group; the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee; a community-wide governance structure; and community partners to align and coordinate priorities, workplans, annual budgets, communications and advocacy efforts. The Energy Evolution project team will also continue to work with municipal colleagues across the country through organizations like the Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners network, Clean Air Partnership and Low Carbon Cities Canada to share information, best practices, and lessons learned. Next slide.
So who did we work with to develop Energy Evolution?
Energy Evolution has benefited immensely from feedback and leadership provided by community and corporate stakeholders throughout the development of this project. I would like to take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks and appreciation to the Energy Evolution Sounding board and technical working groups, Council Sponsor Groups, the Mayor’s Office, the City Manager’s Office, City Departments and Ottawa Public Health. I would also like to thank the consultants Sustainability Solutions Group, whatIf? Technologies, and Leidos Canada for their support, patience and technical expertise. Sincerely, without our partners and consultants, this project would not have been possible. Next slide.
Since 2016, staff have worked with three Council Sponsors Groups, presented seven times to the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, collaborated with six departments plus Ottawa Public Health and had countless meetings and one-on-one discussions across the corporation. Over the course of the project, over 40 key staff took part in the technical working groups, assisted with the development of the project overviews and reviewed and provided feedback on the strategy. Additionally, the aforementioned Tiger Team was created with a mandate to champion and support implementation of the Climate Change Master Plan, including Energy Evolution as one of the Plan’s priority actions. Next slide.
Additionally, since 2016, staff have collaborated with over 200 public and private stakeholders representing over 90 organizations and which collectively formed the Energy Evolution Sounding Board. Staff also led nine different technical working groups and held over 45 meetings to inform the model, the strategy, and the 20 projects. Throughout the project, staff also participated in key stakeholder meetings, parallel City consultations, and community events, as requested. Examples include but are not limited to Climate Action Week, Ottawa EV Days, ward meetings and community associations meetings. Staff also collaborated with community partners, including but not limited to Hydro Ottawa and its subsidiaries Envari and Portage Power, Ottawa Climate Action Fund, the Greater Home Builders Association, Ottawa Community Housing and Enbridge Gas. Additionally, public engagement on the final strategy began in August whereby staff held two virtual Sounding Board meetings and two virtual Public Information Sessions which provided an overview of the strategy and details on the 20 proposed projects. These sessions attracted over 450 participants and over 310 unique questions were asked over the course of all sessions. Staff also held a general City staff information session, as well as presented to the Official Plan’s Ambassadors Working Group. Next slide.
To support public engagement, an Energy Evolution Engage Ottawa webpage was launched where residents can register to learn more about Energy Evolution, about any upcoming engagement sessions, and to respond to frequent polling questions. A survey was also conducted in August and September asked residents what challenges they face when trying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The results will help staff to further develop programs that support residents efforts in reducing their emissions. Earlier this year, the City also launched its climate change e-newsletter whereby residents can learn more about the municipality’s on-going climate change initiatives. The e-newsletter currently has over 3,000 subscribers and residents can sign-up for the newsletter at the Engage Ottawa webpage. Next slide.
So what are our next steps and how will we report back?
Two reports will be brought forward to the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management by the end of the year. The first is what we are speaking to today, Energy Evolution which is scheduled to go to Committee on October 20 and Council on October 28. This will be followed in December with the first annual update on the Climate Change Master Plan which is anticipated to include an update on the plan’s eight priorities and the 2019 community and corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Next slide.
Over the coming years, staff intend to bring forward an annual status update on the Energy Evolution projects and any recommendations to advance those projects as part of the Climate Change Master Plan annual updates. Longer term, staff intend to rerun the energy and emissions model in five years to assess how the City and the community are tracking towards achieving the 100% scenario and to determine what actions should be prioritized. Additionally, a full review and update of the Climate Change Master Plan will be completed in 2025. This will be combined with a review of the Energy Evolution strategy and the future Climate Resiliency Strategy to determine if there is an opportunity to combine the three standalone documents. Next slide.
Following receipt of the strategy by Committee and Council, staff will continue to build out and develop all 20 projects with input from staff, stakeholders, and the public as required. We will also develop a 10-year spending plan that can be considered in annual municipal budget processes and feed into the City’s Long-Range Financial Plans. The next Long-Range Financial Plans will be updated within this term of Council and at the beginning of the next term of Council. Budget and staffing requirements would be brought forward for consideration as part of the annual budget process. Additionally, staff, in collaboration with the Climate Change Council Sponsors Group and the Mayor’s Office, will continue to advocate for funding and policy changes at senior level of government. Additionally, further attention will be given to the building out the climate lens and governance frameworks in order to embed climate considerations across all City and community business. Both the climate lens and governance framework are priorities under the Climate Change Master Plan. And finally, staff will prepare department specific presentations on Energy Evolution starting in 2021 to ensure that staff across the corporation are aware of, can align with, and continue to make use of relevant information. They will be delivered to Departmental Leadership Teams and offered to appropriate Service Area, Branch or Units teams to support ongoing alignment of priorities, workplans, and budgets. Next slide.
That concludes my presentation and I would like to thank you for attending today’s technical briefing on Energy Evolution. I will now hand it back over to Chair Moffatt for questions.
Thanks you very much Jen. Well done. Just let everyone know that the presentation will be mailed out to members of Council shortly and again the full report is coming out after this Technical Briefing. There’s a lot of important factors, important factors in there, in that presentation specifically thinking about the Climate Change Master Plan and how it sort of fits into all other master plans that we’re working on. Whether it’s the Official Plan, whether it’s the Transportation Master Plan, the Solid Waste Master Plan. All these things that we currently have on going are intertwined into what we’re hearing today and what we’re hearing with the Climate Change Master Plan. I know we have Sponsors groups for that there’s a lot of crossover with those as well. In fact the sponsorship that we have for this, for this project at the Climate Change Sponsors Group I should mention just thank you to the Members of Council that are on that, who join me on that. So Councillor Kavanagh, Councillor Suds, Councillor Fleury, Councillor Menard, Councillor Dudas are all on that with me and it’s a good group and it’s nice to be able to work with members of Council as these things develop and they get to this point where we’re now talking about it in this briefing but then also when we, when it comes to Committee and Council later this month and for the foreseeable future as we start to implement some of these projects.
So I’m going to get to questions from members of Council and we’ll do it the same way that we do everything on Zoom which is with the blue raised hand function which Riley is on top of as he’s the first one up. I just want to thank everyone who’s here so I know we have Councillors Kavanagh, I can, she’s like the only one I can see right now, Councillor El-Chantiry, Gower, King, Councillor Deans is with us, Councillor McKenney, Menard, Cloutier, Egli, Brockington and Fluery. So fantastic to see you all, I know Danielle McGee is also here with the Mayor’s Office so we’ll start right away with Councillor Brockington.
Thank you Chair and good morning to you and everyone and to staff thank you very much and everyone who for the past few years have been engaged and immersed and contributing to where we are today. I was, as the Chair indicated on the whatever you want to call it the Sponsor Group last term of Council and I remember sitting with various community leaders and some of who I was following on Twitter this morning as the staff presentation was being presented and some very positive comments from these groups, these groups through many years ago were quite frustrated by the lack of progress and we seemed to stalled but today is I think very good news and I’m going to you know keep most of my questions to Committee Chair because I think that’s where my questions should go but I want to ask staff one main question. I will comment going backwards that I really like the five year refresh of all the data that we heard at the end of the presentation. I like the annual updates, absolutely should have annual updates coming to the Committee to see how things are going so we can keep track of progress and realign either resources or direction as needed so I really like that but to staff one main question. Now that you have put this presentation and strategic plan together, cost it out, the investment that’s needed, have you had professional independent outside people review the plan, making sure it’s realistic, it’s feasible, it’s financially doable and it’s going to yield the results that we’re projecting? Have you had that independent basically peer review?
Thank you for the question Councillor Brockington. As we developed the plan over the last number of years we’ve worked with a very wide range of technical experts who are external to the City as well as our colleagues across the corporation who bring technical expertise on the corporate side of things. The plan itself was developed first using a series of technical pathways and the Sounding Board and technical working groups provided input, including review of those technical pathways. The results of those pathways were then rolled up and put into the model itself so the model itself is based on the technical input received through those, those pathways as well as the technical input required from our consultants to support that work along the way. Separate from the energy and emissions model, the financial analysis done was done of course by our consultants and it has also been validated or reviewed by external partners and our colleagues across the corporation in order to identify what some of the assumptions were and what some of those considerations were. So we feel confident that there has been a substantial amount of external input and review into this process.
Excellent, you know pursue that further at Committee because we are going multiple years, decades into the future, making decisions, tying future Councils spending significant money. Staff won’t be here to be held accountable you know decades from now, we, I want to make sure that and I’m not doubting what you’re saying I just want to make sure that this is the point where we’re going to start making some serious decisions that you know that, that type of vetting and analysis has been done and so I appreciate that. I’m not going to pursue any more questions today but I look forward to a greater discussion at Committee so thank you everyone.
Thank you Councillor Brockington, yes it was the renewable energy strategy Council Sponsors group that it was originally named and then that, that morphed into what is now Energy Evolution which has a much better ring to it so thank you. Now we’ll move onto Councillor Menard, our Vice Chair Shawn Menard.
Thanks very much Chair I appreciate the presentation this is great to see us at this point in Ottawa’s history and the transition that, that we need to make and so very happy with all the work that’s been done and the actions that are gonna follow so thank you to staff for getting us to this point and all the groups that have contributed along the way, Ecology Ottawa and others that have done great work to, to also get us here. I just have one question and I’ll also follow up at Committee but the one question for me is you know are we looking at the areas that could save us money fairly quickly? Examples things like generating renewable natural gas from our waste treatment, the BEEM group identifying projects that upfront investments would generate significant return on investment fairly quickly, you know building retrofits, sort of the lower hanging fruit that can generate savings for the municipality or revenue streams you know, are we looking at, does it make financial sense to look at borrowing at low interest rates to then to then save more that we’re borrowing on, on some of those items and activities right now, what kind of discussion is being had with regard to that?
Thank you Councillor Menard. Yes of course we are looking for opportunities throughout this process, not only to reduce our emissions but also to generate savings and potentially generate revenue. So there are some studies right now which are currently underway in order to suss out those types of things, one example of that is a biogas optimization study which we are undertaking with our colleagues in public works and looking at where there may be opportunities at the water and wastewater treatment plant or perhaps other facilities to generate renewable natural gas that’s not going to be a very short-term thing of course but we are already part way through that study and we will continue the recommendations that come out of that will continue to advance advance that. In the Hydro Ottawa dividend surplus spending plan which is proposed as part of the staff report there are also a number of projects which have been identified that will some of which are in the BEEM group that will help generate savings and will also position us better to generate savings in the future not just for existing facilities but also for potentially new facilities and even perhaps those who are required to do major renovations or retrofits on.
And I can appreciate that I also appreciate that you know 2.6 million isn’t you know great start but we need uh to to have see more investment and I’d be interested in looking at options that have more investment up front that will save us money in in the interim so if there’s if there’s other options or opportunities there where Council can borrow at very low interest rates and generate returns I think it’d be it’d be helpful to know exactly what those are and to put them in front of us and let us make a decision on those but appreciate the technical briefing and Chair thank you for your leadership on this. I’ll hand it back to you.
Thank you, thank you for your work as well and obviously on as Vice Chair and then we sit on those, those sponsor groups together so it’s good to collaborate on these types of initiatives thank you. Councillor Kavanagh.
Thank you very much, very exciting to move forward on actually doing stuff for the future. One of the projects I’ve mentioned in the past is about with stage two LRT is using some of the stations for, for solar panels et cetera and I’m wondering if that fits in with this at all? This is something we need to look at in terms of what we’re already constructing and what’s going on and an opportunity to help us advance our goals. I have talked about this in the past with I think it’s Jennifer and Mike.
Thank you Councillor Kavanagh. As we’ve discussed one of the projects in the proposed package is an electricity resource strategy and that includes both wind and solar as examples of renewable energy strategies, also as part of the package which is coming forward in Hydro Ottawa dividend surplus we have a small amount of funding to explore what options there are for City facilities. We have as you know done some very preliminary and high level review of the proposed stage two LRT stations and are still waiting for some more information. I still need to do more detailed work with our colleagues about what that could look like and we are interested in short-term opportunities or potentially policies that could catalyze community investments to support that type of work. So nothing, nothing I think concrete at this point to say yes or not on that but perhaps our colleagues form Transportation Services and we have Pat Scrimgeour on the phone today, maybe he would like to add something to that?
Hi I can just say that you know obviously the stations are under construction and the designs that the contractor is building to right now don’t include such additions to the stations but that is by no means to say that there’s any reason we couldn’t do that and certainly we could look at that once the stations are built and once they’re turned over to us and they are more transit facilities 20 24 more transit locations across all the city where we’d be able to look at anything Council would like us to.
Thank you, I know it’s been done other places and it would be a great example out there, I appreciate the work. I’ll turn it over to my colleagues for their questions, thank you.
Thank you very much Councillor, nice to see Pat Scrimgeour, I know you notice there is no maps of route maps in the background of Pat’s camera because all those actually live inside his head every single route, just his brain seems to own them all. So now we have Councillor Egli.
Thank you Sir, I was just on a quick call on another matter.
Sorry, I’m just trying to multi task just like you. You’re, you’re my role model. So the question I had for staff is well first of all, great work and lots of vision there and, and, and, and lots of good ideas that I think the City needs and so I’m glad to see it going forward. My question is, is you mentioned COVID a couple of times during the presentation and my questions is, is related to sort of an off spin or ripple effect from it we’re, we’re expecting that the, the, the other levels of government are going to be coming up with stimulus programs to help the economy bounce back from COVID, when we get to a point where we have some stability and, and, and hopefully a vaccine so my question is are you aware if any of these stimulus projects are going to be geared more towards a green perspective and if that’s the case what are we doing to, to prepare to be able to jump on top of those opportunities should they become available in the next you know six to 12 months kind of thing?
So Councillor, I’ll take a shot at answering that question. We are getting very clear signals that there will be funding streams for various infrastructure projects that are taught, that are I think the government, senior government’s portrayed as re building back better and building back better and greener, in many of these ways so we fully expect that. I haven’t see any specific details yet, the only specific details that were announced were some of the initiatives to the Canada Infrastructure Bank that were announced last week but we anticipate more will come in the coming months and it’s absolutely something that will play into our role out of this strategy.
Well that’s great to hear is kind of building on some of the comments that Councillor Menard made, you know COVIDs done a lot of horrible things and will continue to do horrible things in our community and across the country but in an odd sort of way it may open some opportunities as well and I think this may be one of them so I’m glad to hear we’re monitoring that and we’re, we’re ready to jump on those opportunities should they become available thank you.
Thank you, as of right now I don’t have any more questions, unless so I have Councillor Menard, Councillor Kavanagh, Councillor Egli. I still have your hands still up but I don’t believe that is accurate, do any other members of Council wish to ask questions at this time? I pause for either an awkward silence or for someone to unmute themselves and shout from the high heavens that they wish to engage but I’m seeing none. Ultimately when it comes to, to this and the way forward you know I think it was, I mentioned at the start I know it was mentioned by Jen as well and others, this is something that we, we don’t have any capability of doing alone, I’ve always envisioned this as being other levels of government want a plan, they want to plan for climate change and how to, how to respond, I think nobody is suited to respond better than municipalities in terms of actually doing the work and getting that done, what we need help with is the funding. We have a plan it’s, it’s being laid out right now, it’s in the Climate Change Master Plan, it’s here in Energy Evolution, we’re continuing to work on creating the plans as to how we can address the goals and get to zero emissions by 2050 but we need help and I don’t really care who takes credit for our plan but ultimately if federal government or provincial government partners wanted to come in and help fund then albeit come on in join our team and let’s, let’s get some things done. So thank you then to members of Council, thank you to staff. We do have the media portion of this which is to take place after about 15 minutes. We’re gonna do a 15 minute break and Byrne is actually going to moderate that portion, I’ll be there, staff will be there, everyone that you heard today will be available but thank you so much, I appreciate everything everyone’s done up to this point and we’ll have a more fulsome discussion at Committee on October 20th and we’ll have delegations there of course and I know a lot of the interested parties that are watching today and also have been part of our stakeholder groups for the last few years will, will be there as well. So thank you. Byrne.
Thank you everyone, we will take a break for 15 minutes and we will see you at 11:15 for the media availability.
What will it take to achieve Ottawa’s emission reduction targets?
A technical model was used to determine what it will take to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets. To achieve the targets, we need to:
- Significantly reduce demand for energy
- Phase out fossil fuels
- Increase use of renewable resources
A total of 39 actions were modelled. Details on these actions and their relative greenhouse gas emissions are included in the document Modeling Ottawa’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions to 2050: Summary of Results [ PDF 715 KB ].
The five actions which will have the most significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are:
- Electrify personal vehicles
- Retrofit existing residential buildings
- Divert organic waste from landfill and create renewable natural gas
- Retrofit existing commercial buildings
- Transition to zero emission commercial fleets
Collectively, these five actions account for roughly 80 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required.
Read more about how you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Evolution’s priority projects
Twenty projects have been identified over the next five years to accelerate action and investment towards achieving the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. These projects are summarized below.
Land use projects
- Official Plan – energy and climate mitigation priorities will be integrated into the new Official Plan and the supporting master plans. The summary of the climate change policies in the draft Official Plan explains how climate change has been addressed. For an overview watch the Climate Change and the new Official Plan Information Session.
- Existing buildings energy efficiency improvements – programs to accelerate and finance energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, such as the Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program and Better Buildings Ottawa.
- City buildings – a renovation and retrofit program to achieve higher building energy performance improvements in City owned buildings and an update to the City’s Green Building Policy to align with the corporate greenhouse gas reduction targets.
- Building heating – a strategy to address infrastructure and utility requirements for new ways of heating buildings
- New buildings – a high performance development standard to improve building design and construction
- Electric vehicles – a strategy to enable and encourage personal and commercial electric vehicle adoption
- City fleet vehicles – an updated plan to continue the conversion of City vehicles to hybrid and electric vehicles where possible
- Zero emission transit – a program to transition buses to cleaner, non-polluting options
- Sustainable transportation modes – strategies to reduce the reliance on personal vehicles by increasing the number of cycling, walking, and transit trips
Waste and renewable natural gas projects
- Organic waste diversion – a strategy to divert organic waste from landfill to reduce the emissions from managing waste and enable renewable power generation
- Renewable natural gas – a strategy to supply greenhouse gas neutral gas and other heating to the community
- Electricity resources – a strategy to develop local or regional renewable electricity supplies and advance zero-emission generation at the provincial level
Private action projects
- Better Buildings Ottawa Network (formerly the Climate Ambassadors Network) – a program to engage businesses and organizations to meet long term greenhouse gas reduction targets
- Public education and outreach – a program to engage residents in collective action to meet long term greenhouse gas reduction targets
- Fund the Evolution – to further assess potential sources of municipal funding to adequately fund Energy Evolution.
More information about the priority projects can be viewed in the following documents:
- Summary of Energy Evolution projects [ PDF 182 KB ]
- Energy Evolution project overviews [ PDF 2.109 MB ]
Benefits of Energy Evolution
Transitioning to low-carbon energy sources will:
- Reduce the effects of climate change
- Grow our local economy and create jobs
- Improve public health
- Improve social equity
- Increase climate resiliency
Energy Evolution engagement opportunities
To find out more about upcoming engagement opportunities on Energy Evolution projects, visit Engage Ottawa.
Reports and reference documents
Energy Evolution Strategy
The final report for Energy Evolution Strategy was unanimously approved by Council on October 28, 2020. The Energy Evolution strategy includes:
- What it will take to reduce emissions in Ottawa by 100 per cent by 2050
- The benefits of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low carbon future
- 20 community and municipal projects that have been identified to accelerate action and investment over the next five years (2020 – 2025)
- The potential risks to implementation and how these risks will be mitigated
Download the strategy and supporting documents:
- Energy Evolution Strategy [ PDF 12.813 MB ]
- Energy Pathway Studies 1 [ PDF 6.93 MB ]
- Energy Pathway Studies 2 [ PDF 7.87 MB ]
- Technical Report [ 14.5 MB ]
- Summary of Energy Evolution Projects [ PDF 182 KB ]
- Modelling Ottawa’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions to 2050 [ PDF 715 MB ]
- Project Overviews [ PDF 2.019 MB ]
CityInSight Visualization Tool
CityInSight is a data visualization tool for the City’s Energy Evolution Strategy. You can use the tool to get a better understanding of the projected emissions for Ottawa, and you can manipulate certain variables for your own analysis and research.
The CityInSight tool forecasts potential energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions for the years between 2016 (baseline) and 2050, based on two scenarios:
- Business as Planned scenario – looks at future energy and emissions in Ottawa if no additional action is taken beyond what is already underway or planned
- 100 per cent scenario – looks at the actions and strategies required for Ottawa to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 per cent by 2050 in keeping with the thresholds set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
More details on the underlying assumptions of these scenarios can be found in the Technical Report and the Data, Methods and Assumptions Manual. If you would like a copy of these reports please email email@example.com
You can choose from seven different projections and compare the Business as Planned scenario to the 100 per cent scenario. The projections are:
- Energy Use
- Passenger Transportation
- Urban Form
- Population and Employment
- Energy Flow
You can manipulate a number of variables to assess the greenhouse gas emissions in Ottawa. These variables include:
- Specific year between 2016 – 2050
- A scenario, Business as Planned or 100 per cent
- The seven projections
Want to receive updates on Energy Evolution and other climate change initiatives? Sign up for the Climate Change e-newsletter.
Engaging with senior levels of government
Achieving Ottawa’s targets will require concerted efforts and collaboration across all levels of government. When Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, they directed staff to work with senior levels of government to:
- accelerate ambition and action to meet the urgency of climate change
- provide additional resources for municipalities and the public to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency to climate impacts
The City engages regularly with the provincial and federal government on the funding, policy and regulatory supports needed to implement the Climate Change Master Plan and Energy Evolution.
A summary of recent engagements can be found below.
|Recipient||Requests from the City||Date||Submission|
|Ontario Ministry of Energy||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy|
|Ontario Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs|
|Ontario Ministry of Transportation||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation|
|Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable David Piccini, Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks|
|Environment and Climate Change Canada||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada|
|Natural Resources Canada||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minster of Natural Resources Canada|
|Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Canada||
||January 2022||Letter from Mayor Watson to the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Canada|