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Energy and climate

Energy Evolution

Energy Evolution is a renewable energy strategy designed to manage energy consumption, promote the use of renewable energy and advance local economic development opportunities in Ottawa. Developed in collaboration with dozens of local businesses and organizations, the strategy is intended to be a community-wide initiative with a vision to transform Ottawa into a thriving city powered by clean, renewable energy.

Given the range of energy types currently used within Ottawa and the ways in which these are consumed, realizing Energy Evolution’s vision will require concerted efforts and collaboration across all sectors of the community to reduce the city’s current dependence on fossil fuels. The approach adopted by the strategy to guide this transition is three-pronged:

  • 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

As an economic development strategy, Energy Evolution also aims to promote Ottawa as a center for innovation, research and technology development. The strategy establishes clear linkages to the City’s Smart Cities 2.0 Strategy and aligns with the City’s updated Economic Development Strategy in terms of fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and small-business development.

Energy Evolution infographic

Energy Evolution infographic [ PDF 7.803 MB ]

Phase 1 Strategy - Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy

In 2015, City Council approved the development of a renewable energy strategy as 2015-2018 Term of Council priority, directing staff to:

  • Complete a baseline analysis of energy supply and demand within the City of Ottawa and assess options, in collaboration with community partners, for all such partners to advance energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy generation within their respective areas of control/influence.

Work on the strategy began in 2016 with the creation of a community Sounding Board comprised of over 100 individuals representing 50 organizations in Ottawa. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, City staff worked with members of the Sounding Board as well as targeted stakeholders in the energy sector to establish an overarching vision for the strategy, assess renewable energy generation and energy reduction opportunities, and identify a series of actions to implement between 2018 and 2020.

The first phase of the strategy, Phase 1, was received by City Council on December 13, 2017. The Phase 1 Strategy delivers a baseline inventory and analysis of Ottawa’s current energy consumption and assesses opportunities primarily related to renewable energy generation (e.g., solar power, heat pumps, biogas, etc.). The Phase 1 Strategy also includes a short-term action plan comprised of over 30 initiatives to be implemented by the City and its community partners by 2020.

Phase 1 Strategy Documents

Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy Phase 1 [ PDF 10.256 MB ]

Summary of Short-Term Actions, Energy Evolution: Ottawa’s Community Energy Transition Strategy, Phase 1 [ PDF 238 KB ]

Baseline Energy Study for Ottawa 2015 [ PDF 805 KB ]

Compilation of Energy Pathway Studies [ PDF 6.546 MB ]

Energy Evolution Summer 2017 Pathway Workshops – As We Heard It [ PDF 7.716 MB ]

Community Energy Innovation Fund [ PDF 133 KB ]

Staff Report November 21, 2017 [ PDF 414 KB ]

Phase 2 Strategy

Phase 2 of Energy Evolution will include the development of Pathway Studies and the identification of short-term, medium and longer term actions related to energy efficiency and conservation, particularly with regards to buildings and the transportation sector. It will also examine other areas associated with renewable energy such as energy from waste, energy storage and demand management.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Climate Change Initiatives

The City of Ottawa is committed to addressing climate change through both mitigation and adaption measures. The following document provides a high-level overview of policies, specific city initiatives and examples of how the City is collaborating with other to address climate change.

City of Ottawa Climate Change Initiatives [ PDF 164 KB ]

LED Streetlight Conversion Project

The City of Ottawa is dedicated to innovation and efficient energy use. One of the strategic initiatives of the 2015-2018 City Strategic Plan is the Energy Management and Investment Strategy. A component to this strategy’s success is to significantly reduce the electrical consumption of the City’s streetlighting network within the strategy’s timeframe.

The Transportation Department is working to meet this goal through the conversion of its street lighting network to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Recent advances in LED technology have made it an attractive replacement to traditional lighting fixtures. On October 14, 2015, the City entered into a partnership with Energy Ottawa, a subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa, who will be completing the conversion. Energy Ottawa will be installing LED lighting and will carry out all on-going maintenance of LED streetlights over the next four years.

The City of Ottawa currently has over 68,000 streetlights made up of either High Pressure Sodium (HPS) or Metal Halide (MH) fixtures. These fixtures account for 17% of the City’s electrical use and cost $7.2 million in annual electricity costs (2014 figures). Streetlight fixtures with the highest energy consumption or highest wattage will be those first converted to LED, decorative light fixtures will not be converted as a part of the project as these are low wattage and therefore do not consume significant amounts of energy. The LED conversion project is city-wide and by the end of the project, up to 58,000 fixtures will be converted to LED.

LED Benefits:

Extensive improvements in efficiency, output, and costs of LED make the technology an attractive replacement to our existing equipment. The conversion is estimated to reduce energy consumption by over 50%. In addition to energy reduction, LED offers the following benefits:

  • Lower maintenance costs: The typical fixtures have life spans ranging from approximately 12,000-18,000 hours. The typical LED life span can range from 50,000 hours up to 100,000 hours.
  • More efficient maintenance: LED fixtures will include sensors which generate automatic notifications when a streetlight fixture has failed. This will reduce the down time of fixtures as well as the number of calls received by residents.
  • Improved monitoring: Automated controls have the ability to record utility consumption data and allow for billing based on actual usage.
  • Greater control: The light output of the LED fixtures can be adjusted throughout their life span, allowing for a more consistent light output, and prolonged life expectancy. A reduction of both up-light and trespass light makes LED more “dark skies friendly”.
  • Better quality light: LED technology provides light which is more equivalent to sunlight than conventional fixtures, improving visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

For Special Consideration:

The City of Ottawa is committed to the responsible implementation of LED roadway lighting technology by ensuring that all street lighting designs adhere to the most current Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) standards. To meet these standards, as a part of the conversion project, the City will use a control system that further ensures proper light levels on City streets to minimize any environmental impact.

Additionally, the LED fixtures installed as a part of the conversion project will have similar colour temperatures to existing lighting; new temperatures will not be introduced.  For instance:

  • The colour temperature on local residential and collector roads will be approximately 3000 Kelvin, which is similar to High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures currently in use.
  • The colour temperature on non residential arterial roads will be 4000 Kelvin, similar to whiter light produced by existing Metal Halide (MH) fixtures.

LED streetlight technology focuses light on the roadway, which reduces light pollution including up light, back light and glare.  Focused lighting contributes to energy savings through reduced light consumption.

The Right of Way Lighting Policy was updated in 2015 and now permits the use of light emitting diode (LED) technology for all City of Ottawa streetlighting infrastructure.

Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan (AQCCMP)

On May 28, 2014, Ottawa City Council approved an updated Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, a framework for how Ottawa will mitigate and adapt to climate change over the next 20 years. The plan aims to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 20% between 2012 and 2024.

2014 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan

Report to Environment Committee: Update of the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan (ACS2014-COS-ESD-0011)

Document 1: Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan Main Report

Document 2: Taking Action (Summary Short-Term Action Table)

Appendix A: GHG Inventory Summary

Appendix B: 2005 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan Progress Report

Appendix C: Trends in Municipal Climate Change Action Plans

Appendix D: Existing Energy Incentive and Funding Programs

Appendix E: Energy Supply and Demand in Ottawa

Appendix F: Assessment of the Local Improvement Charge (LIC) Mechanism to Foster Building Retrofits

Appendix G: Risk Mitigation Through the Protections of Natural Areas

Appendix H: Public Health Implications of Climate Change in Ottawa

Appendix I: Managing Risk Through Adaptation

Appendix J: Bibliography

 If you have any questions regarding the Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, please contact:

Jennifer Brown
Project Manager, Environmental Policy and Programs Unit
Environmental Services Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave West, 3rd Floor, K1P 1J1
Phone: 613-580-2424 x27914