We prepare plans for both climate mitigation and adaptation. We have expertise in inventories, target setting, local government policy, and local and Indigenous community engagement. Our plans lead to successful projects and programs.
CEA can help you with a variety of strategic energy and emissions plans to help you meet your emissions targets and support your residents and businesses to save energy, emissions, and money. CEA is committed to creating detailed, actionable plans based on the latest research and emissions modeling techniques. Our planning advisory services include Community Energy & Emissions Plans (CEEPs), Climate Action Plans, strategic energy management plans, and carbon neutral action plans for both community and municipal operations.
In 2020 we also launched an interactive tool to help local governments explore the impact of specific climate actions.
See our CEEP planning resources here.
Our diverse staff has up-to-date technical knowledge to inform our climate and energy plans. We are also dedicated helping you access the knowledge you’re looking for to make your community more energy aware and meet your climate targets. We conduct our research in partnership with diverse stakeholders and also collaborate with other sector leaders like QUEST . Other key sources for climate and energy research are BC Climate Action Toolkit and Closing The Loop
CEA has developed an interactive planning tool to help local governments in BC explore community-wide climate actions. This is a first step to see which actions can best contribute to meeting GHG emission targets.
CEA has completed one fifth of the community energy plans in Canada and facilitated the largest collaborative project to save energy and emissions in the operations of over 30 municipalities and regional districts.
Interactive Climate Action Planning Tool
This interactive tool creates draft energy & emissions inventories for any local government or Islands Trust Area in BC, and allows you to conduct simplified modelling to see the effectiveness of implementing actions to meet GHG reduction targets.
Local government staff, elected officials and other stakeholders can use this tool to better understand what their community’s emissions are, and which actions will be most effective in reducing emissions and meeting targets.
Use this tool in conjunction with the Climate Leaders Playbook (“the Playbook”) https://bcclimateleaders.ca/. The Playbook identifies the practical tools and levers that local-government leaders have available to help them meet emissions reduction targets and describes each of the Big Moves in more detail.
Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP)
A CEEP is a comprehensive, long-term plan to use municipal powers to help residents and businesses save energy, emissions, and money through every day choices and on big purchases.
When CEA facilitates your CEEP, we help:
- Identify your community's energy goals and GHG reduction targets
- Calculate your current energy demand and supply by sector
- Forecast your future energy demand based on growth statistics and the related GHG emissions
- Identify solutions and specific actions to meet your targets
- Identify supporting policy options to inform other key corporate strategies like an Official Community Plan
CEEP Quickstart Implementation
BC communities with populations under 75,000 are eligible for this program. Contact CEA for free technical support and policy implementation assistance thanks to the support of BC Hydro. We can help with policy templates, customization, and coaching through approval and implementation. CEA also provides 1-2 days of implementation coaching to communities participating in the Community of Practice on an as-needed basis for up to six communities.
An ‘inventory’ of community-wide energy use and GHG emissions is a management tool to inform decisions about future actions. It has to be sufficiently accurate to determine the material sources of emissions and be easily reproduced regularly to assess progress. If the community is targeting to reduce GHGs X% by 20XX, knowing the baseline (2007), plan starting point (20XX) and projected business as usual (BAU) annual emissions to 20XX is critical to assess if the actions considered by the community will be sufficient to meet the target.
A key objective of the chosen methodology for the community inventory is to streamline various reporting requirements (CARIP, PCP, and others) and use the inventory to inform departmental decisions. Another objective is to align with other municipalities in order to facilitate benchmarking.
The final inventory produced is consistent with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program and is designed to be replicated each year with consistent methodology.
PCP Milestone Submissions: As the Regional Climate Advisor for FCM PCP, CEA can coordinate and complete both corporate and community PCP Milestone submissions on behalf of the local government. Our team can also ensure the existing corporate inventory and methodology aligns with PCP requirements and update if needed.
A Climate Action Plan is a comprehensive and strategic approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (commonly referred to as mitigation), preparing for the impacts of climate change (commonly referred to as adaptation) and supporting the long-term livability and prosperity of the community. Our approach is grounded in the belief that there is a global need for mitigation and a local need for adaptation and the interrelationship between the two components.
On the mitigation side, a Climate Action Plan addresses the key sources of emissions; transportation, building (including energy efficiency and savings) and waste. As well as, land use, impacts of senior levels of government, and new technology. For adaptation, a Climate Action Plan will address priority climate risks and vulnerabilities and include the most effective actions for building local resilience to those risks.
Local governments have been responsible for planning mitigation, and increasingly adaptation in siloes. Not only is this a burdensome and costly approach, it runs the risk of building-in contradictory measures that lead to maladaptive or emissions-intensive actions and projects. The goal is to maximize benefits for residents and businesses while at the same time helping to avoid hazards, costs and disruptions associated with climate change impacts.
A Climate Lens Assessment is a requirement to access specific federal funding sources, including the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), the federal co-funding source for CleanBC’s Clean Communities Fund. The assessment is comprised of two components: GHG Mitigation Assessment, and Climate Resilience Assessment. The mitigation assessment is required for all projects, while a resilience assessment is generally required for projects with eligible cost of >$10 million.
GHG Mitigation Assessments examine the overall reduction (or increase) in GHGs over the lifetime of a project, inclusive of construction and operation. Resilience Assessments identify vulnerabilities and employ risk management approaches to anticipate, prevent, withstand, respond to, and recover from climate change related disruptions and impacts.
Climate Lens Assessments can be used by local governments to estimate GHG reductions and climate risks from new or retrofit capital projects, inform their capacity to meet GHG targets, and drive further actions.
CEA has completed GHG Mitigation Assessments for several BC local governments as part of the first intake of the Clean Communities Fund, and is currently collaborating with the BC Climate Action Secretariat on developing an engagement campaign for local governments for the next phase of the Clean Communities Fund.
Also known as “Energy Diets”, Building Retrofit Programs support and encourage local homeowners and residents to self education on their home’s energy efficiency and better manage their natural gas and electricity use. The programs offer one on one support, financial incentives and use Community Based Social Marketing tools to combat barriers and inspire residents to work on energy efficient upgrades. For the communities, these programs offer overall GHG reduction programs in their building sector.
The programs are partnerships amongst municipalities, utilities, other funding agencies and homeowners. The partnerships help to overcome barriers and develop personalized programs for homes to be assessed for potential energy upgrades, and then find ways to finance those upgrades through grants, low-interest loans, and energy savings.
An early program in BC was the Rossland Energy Diet of 2012 that saw 22% of the City’s households participate, of whom 80% completed improvements, injecting $1.6 million into the local economy, much of it in the form of rebates and other financial incentives available at the time, from the federal and provincial governments, as well as from FortisBC. Participants of the Rossland Energy Diet noted reductions in their energy bills in the order of 20 to 50%. Each home received an Energuide rating for completing the upgrades, as well as greater comfort at home.
Retrofit programs work in conjunction with New Home programs that incent building to the BC Energy Step Code. Community Energy Association is proud to support the development and delivery of many Retrofit Programs in BC, including: Kootenay Energy Diet, Okanagan Energy Diet, East Kootenay Energy Diet, Cool North Shore and RDCK’s Regional Energy Efficiency Program. Learn more about CEA's work in this area, here.
Do you have questions about how we can help your community plan climate and energy actions?
Why plan climate action?
When local governments invest in pragmatic, science-based energy and emissions planning, they are not only acting on emissions and embracing a low carbon future, they are also ensuring that they capture benefits that extend well beyond the climate. These include creating healthier and more liveable communities for people of all ages and abilities, and leveraging external funding sources to drive local job growth and economic development.
As a partner in your climate action planning, the CEA team will ensure the pathway and actions identified in your plan meets Provincial standards while valuing your community's unique context. In this way your plan is actionable with a clear road map to get to implementation.
Saving energy, emissions & money
Being relentlessly pragmatic means finding solutions and funds that support each community’s goals. CEA collaborates with communities to identify the specific actions that match their context, and has expertise in defining solutions to address the top sources of emissions:
Supporting elected officials to plan climate action
More than ever, elected officials want to lead and support bold climate action in their communities and action their climate emergency declarations. But when everything is a priority, how do you deal with an emergency? Along with the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council (BCMCLC), CEA has developed the BC Climate Leaders Playbook.
This resource was informed by science and designed for leaders to help envision a zero-emission community, and identifies the practical tools and levers that local-government leaders have available to them to make it real—no matter where they’re starting from.
Planning Project Highlights
Regional Visions for Electric Mobility
Medium Duty Vehicle Landscape Study
Fernie Food Action Strategy
BC First Nation and Remote Community Energy Network
Ucluelet 100% Renewable Energy Plan
Closing the Loop
As a recognized leader in Western Canada on climate and energy, CEA is deeply committed to contributing to research that will prepare communities for bold, pragmatic local climate action.
Community Energy Association wants to help you access the knowledge you’re looking for to make your community more energy aware and energy smart. With support from our members and funding partners, CEA is able to compile research and create resources to inform climate action at the local level. From BC Energy Step Code videos, to heat pump research and policy infographics, our resources aim to further inform climate action and make sometimes complex content relevant to communities.
If you want an in-depth learning program and certification, sign up for our Certificate in Community Energy Management.