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Integrated Community Energy Solutions

Key NRCan Activities

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been undertaking activities that support Integrated Community Energy Solutions (ICES) for many years.

NRCan is collaborating with provincial and territorial governments as well as local governments and a variety of other stakeholders. This is part of its continuing efforts to provide effective and efficient support to improve and encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy in Canada and to build stronger communities.

The following activities highlight NRCan's current initiatives to advance ICES in Canada.

Integrated Community Energy Solutions – A Roadmap for Action was released by the Canadian Council of Energy Ministers at its annual meeting in September 2009. The Roadmap describes the role that Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments can play in advancing ICES and sets out a broad strategy for action. It also includes a variety of options from which federal, provincial and territorial governments can choose, according to their priorities, to advance community energy performance and complement existing energy efficiency activities in different sectors.

Combining Our Energies: Integrated Energy Systems for Canadian Communities was tabled by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources on June 18, 2009. The Report includes nine recommendations to the Government of Canada to advance Integrated Community Energy Solutions in Canada, and was informed by testimony heard by the Committee from 28 different organizations representing a broad section of players with an interest in ICES.

The National Energy Roundtable on Integrated Community Energy Solutions was announced by the Minister of Natural Resources in September 2009. The Government of Canada is inviting a wide range of senior decision-makers from government, industry, the academic community and other key sectors to participate in the next steps for advancing renewable energy production and clean energy research and systems in Canada. The Roundtable on October 23, 2009 will focus on ICES.

The energy expertise of Natural Resources Canada's CanmetENERGY is helping to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions that will reduce the energy required by Canadian communities without sacrificing a modern, urban and mobile lifestyle. CanmetENERGY's research, demonstration and deployment activities foster national initiatives for more sustainable community and neighbourhood planning and development practices in Canada, including community energy planning tools and case studies.

Community Level Energy Performance and GHG Emissions Measurement is being advanced by NRCan, in partnership with several federal departments, and will soon broaden to include provincial, utility, municipal and other stakeholders. This work will inform future efforts with provincial and territorial governments and with key stakeholders in the development of improved methodologies for measuring energy use, energy production and GHG emissions at the community level.

ICES Potential Energy and GHG Savings Assessment is being supported by NRCan, together with provincial governments, energy associations and utilities. Preliminary results from Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST), a multi-stakeholder collaborative, suggest that ICES could reduce GHG emissions at the community level by as much 40 to 50%. Final results are expected in early 2010.

The EQuilibrium™ Communities Initiative is working to accelerate the development of sustainable communities that are energy efficient, economically viable and vibrant places to live. NRCan's CanmetENERGY is an equal partner with CMHC in this $4.2 million Initiative. Approximately six selected proponents will have access to funding and the energy expertise of CanmetENERGY, with the aim of either improving energy performance in projects not yet constructed or implementing energy monitoring of already built projects. The Request for Submissions closed on September 22 and the selection process will be completed in 2009.

The Clean Energy Fund – Renewable and Clean Energy Demonstration Projects component, is a $191.4 million funding allocation directed at a variety of demonstration projects including building and community-scale demonstrations that focus on integrating renewable energy technologies in urban, rural and remote community applications. The call for project proposals closed on September 14 and further information on which projects will move forward to funding negotiations will be made later in the fall.