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Energy Evolution

Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy

Energy Evolution is the action plan for how Ottawa will meet the targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the community by 100 per cent by 2050 and from City operations by 100 per cent by 2040. 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. The strategy is guided by three components:

  • Reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency
  • Increase the supply of renewable energy through local and regional production
  • Prioritize the procurement of clean, renewable energy

Pathways and Energy and Emissions Model

Fourteen technical pathways documents have been developed that examine different technologies that can help achieve the GHG emission reduction targets. The pathways focused on renewable energy, buildings (new and existing), transportation, waste and wastewater, and energy storage and demand management and considered opportunities and constraints that could influence uptake.

This study is available in English only and may be translated in whole or in part upon request. For more information, please contact Emma Langham at 613‑580‑2424, extension 13858.

The results of the pathways were integrated into an energy and emissions model. The model presents two different future GHG emission scenarios compared to a 2016 baseline year:

  • Business as planned – illustrates Ottawa’s future greenhouse gas emissions based on all current policies, actions and strategies to address energy and emissions.
  • 100 per cent scenario – explores the scope and scale of change required for Ottawa to reduce GHG emissions 100 per cent below 2012 levels by 2050

Modelling results are broken down into five key sectors:

  • Land Use and Growth Management
  • Buildings (New and Existing)
  • Transportation
  • Waste and Renewable Natural Gas
  • Electricity

The table below summarizes where community wide GHG emission reductions are modelled to come from between now and 2050 in the 100 per cent scenario.

Sector Percentage of total projected GHG emissions reductions
Year 2030
Land Use and Growth Management Embedded in other actions
Buildings (New and Existing) 37
Transportation 30
Waste and Renewable Natural Gas 26
Electricity  7
Total 100
Sector Percentage of total projected GHG emissions reductions
Year 2050
Land Use and Growth Management Embedded in other actions
Buildings (New and Existing) 38
Transportation 37
Waste and Renewable Natural Gas 17
Electricity 9
Total 100

Details on the 39 model actions and their relative GHG emissions reductions are included in the document Modelling Ottawa’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions to 2050: Summary of Results


On October 28, Council unanimously approved Energy Evolution, the City’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The final Energy Evolution Strategy and supporting documents are available to download from the Council and Committee Meeting portal. 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

The staff report addresses COVID-19 considerations and includes a proposed spending plan for the Hydro Ottawa dividend surplus.

Work will now begin on developing and implementing the 20 projects identified in the strategy in collaboration with the community. The projects focus on the most impactful way to reduce emissions:

  • Electrifying personal and commercial vehicles
  • Retrofitting residential and commercial buildings
  • Turning organic waste into renewable natural gas

Council has committed the $2.6 million surplus from last year’s Hydro Ottawa dividend to support the projects and help leverage federal and provincial funding.

Energy Evolution engagement opportunities

To find out more about upcoming engagement opportunities, visit the Energy Evolution page on Engage Ottawa.

Community Led Projects

To support community action the City invested $800,000 over two years in community-led projects that directly supported the vision of Energy Evolution through the Energy Evolution Catalyst Project and the Community Energy Innovation Fund.

For more information, please contact the Climate Change and Resiliency Unit.

Want to receive updates on Energy Evolution and other climate change initiatives? Sign up for the Climate Change e-newsletter.

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

You can choose from seven different projections and compare the Business as Planned scenario to the 100 per cent scenario. The projections are:

  • Emissions
  • Energy Use
  • Passenger Transportation
  • Urban Form
  • Population and Employment
  • Energy Flow
  • Financials

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

Check out CityInSight