City of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy
Locally based, national organization works with builders on complementary, sustainable programs
Across Canada, Edmonton is rapidly becoming known as an energy sustainable city. Over the past decade, The City of Edmonton has launched innovative community projects that conserve energy, use energy more efficiently, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some of the successes to-date include the expansion of Edmonton’s LRT network; planning, design, and development of world-class sustainable communities like Blatchford, The Quarters, Downtown, and transit-oriented developments; introduction of energy efficient street lighting technologies; advancement of infill strategies; establishment of a large commercial-scale waste-to-biofuels facility; and advancement of fresh: Edmonton's Food and Agriculture Strategy.
Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy responds to City Council’s goal for Edmonton to go even further to become “the nation’s leader in setting and achieving the highest standards of environmental preservation and sustainability both in its own practices and by encouraging and enabling the practices of its partners.” Equally, it responds to three of the twelve Council-approved goals in the City of Edmonton’s environmental strategic plan, The Way We Green: 1) Edmonton’s sources and uses of energy are sustainable; 2) Edmonton is resilient to disturbances that could affect its energy supplies and distribution systems; and 3) Edmonton is a carbon-neutral city.
The Energy Transition Strategy provides a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and promoting resilient energy systems in Edmonton. The strategy points Edmonton to an energy sustainable future and includes twelve strategic courses of action for addressing challenges and opportunities, and includes an eight-year action plan. These actions include programs that promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy uptake in buildings, as well as programs that promote greater infill and density in Edmonton’s urban form.
It is here that third-party certified programs like those offered through Built Green Canada, a national organization based out of Edmonton that works with residential builders to build more sustainably, and the Community Energy Transition Strategy converge. Built Green Canada’s programs—Single Family, High Density, and Renovations projects—complement the goals of the Energy Transition Strategy focusing on energy efficiency and then going beyond for a holistic approach to builds that includes materials & methods (including products that contribute to lower energy use and/or use of renewable energy); indoor air quality; ventilation; waste management; water conservation; and business practices, with this latter category recognizing those builders’ company vehicles that are electric, hybrid, or bio-diesel and awarding points—timely given Tesla’s recent unveiling.
Builders and homebuyers alike are increasingly focused on green features for a healthier, more comfortable homes with savings on monthly operating costs and more. A BUILT GREEN® certified home will enjoy a higher sale value—the Canadian Home Builders Association’s recent research has shown homes with green certification sell for close to 10% more on average than homes without green certification. The 2015 Canadian Home Buyer Preference National Study shows that 49% of Canadian homebuyers say home certification is a "must have", and an additional 29% "really want" certification. (Study was conducted and produced by Avid Ratings Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association).
* Energy Transition Strategy information courtesy of the City of Edmontonwww.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/EnergyTransitionStrategy.pdf