On the Path to Net Zero Communities: Integrating Land Use and Energy Planning in Ontario Municipalities

Thanks to funding from the Places to Grow Implementation Fund, the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) in partnership with Dr. Kirby Calvert (UofG) and Karen Farbridge collaborated via the Community Energy Knowledge Action Partnership (CEKAP) to complete a set of case studies looking at net zero and low carbon developments across five Ontario municipalities:

We conducted in depth reviews of municipal and provincial policy frameworks applicable to each case study, and followed-up with targeted interviews with key municipal, public and private sector stakeholders involved in each development. We also looked at the wide range of net-zero definitions that exist in policy and literature, in an attempt to provide some clarity as to a practical definition that aligns with the municipal sphere of influence.

From this research, we have developed key insights into the role that municipalities, the Province, and the development sector can play to enable the development of innovative net zero and low carbon communities in Ontario.  We have also developed a proposed net-zero definition applicable to the Ontario municipal context:

Net-Zero Energy Emissions Community (NZEEC)

In the context of municipal and regional planning, a net-zero energy emissions community is highly efficient in terms of energy needed to meet demand for: buildings (electricity plug loads, space and water heating), transportation (excluding long-haul freight and personal travel outside of regional boundaries), and municipal services (e.g. water treatment and distribution, wastewater management, and waste management). Energy demand is met by sustainable zero GHG emission sources, ideally generated within community boundaries.

More Resources

Click here to access the executive summary.

Click here to access the full report.