Creating an Energy Plan

This tab summarizes how a community can develop an energy plan that:

  • consolidates ideas;
  • identifies policies, programs and activities; and
  • helps put them into action.

Most energy plans are prepared following five general steps, led by a community team.

1. Develop the "Vision"

· Form a team (staff, elected officials, utility, business, and community representatives, consultants)

· Set the planning horizon

2. Prepare an Inventory and "Business as Usual" Forecast

· What are the energy supply and requirements, by resource (e.g. electricity, natural gas, motor fuels) and what will they be if you do nothing?

· Use information from a corporate energy and emissions inventory, the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory, BC Stats, census, Fortis BC, BC Hydro, ICBC

3. Quantify the Vision by Setting Goals and Targets

· Set visionary (top down) and/or pragmatic (bottom up) energy consumption and/or greenhouse gas reduction targets and timelines. (All local governments are required by legislation to have greenhouse gas reduction targets, policies and actions, so link your energy targets to these to ensure consistency with planning and implementation)

· Portray them (and perhaps the actions to achieve them) graphically; wedge diagrams can be useful

4. Create an Action Plan

· Identify the actions, programs, and projects to help met the goals and targets

· Describe the benefits, challenges, level of effort, and responsibilities for delivering them

5. Implement, Monitor, Report, and Revise the Plan

· Establish an implementation team

· Prepare periodic reports on progress

· Publicize successes

· Update and freshen the Plan over time

Each community will want to manage the process according to its priorities for action and policies for community engagement. For most, workshops and meetings to engage interested citizens and organizations at key stages will produce better results and buy-in.

BC Hydro’s "QuickStart" program can help smaller communities develop and implement a Community Energy and Emissions Plan by facilitating and funding a 1.5 day workshop (bchydro.com/quickstart).

In addition to QuickStart, possible external funding sources include the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund (sustainablecommunities.ca/GMF), funding components under the Gas Tax Agreement (http://ubcm.ca/; click on "Funding Programs"), the Local Government Infrastructure Planning Grant Program (www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/infra/library/IPGP_Program_Guide_2010.pdf), and various Foundations. Refer to the most recent update of the "Funding Your Community Energy and Climate Change Initiatives: A Guide to Funding and Resources for BC Local Governments" (www.communityenergy.bc.ca).

To find out more on how to prepare a community energy plan, refer to:

· The Community Energy Association’s "Community Energy and Emissions Planning: A Guide for BC Local Governments" (www.communityenergy.bc.ca)

· Natural Resources Canada’s "Community Energy Planning Guide (Part 1); Programs and Projects (Part 2) (canmetenergy-canmetenergie.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca)

· The RuralBC Secretariat’s "Clean Energy for a Green Economy: An Introduction for Rural BC Communities" (http://communityenergy.bc.ca/?dlm_download_category=economics)