February 18, 2020

Introducing the Smart Energy Communities Benchmark

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Today QUEST and Pollution Probe launched the Smart Energy Communities Benchmark. The Benchmark measures where a community stands relative to Canadian best practices on ten indicators that, taken together, constitute the core characteristics of a Smart Energy Community.

The Benchmark was designed to reflect the fact that each of Canada’s 2,000+ communities are unique. It is a personalized measure that adapts to local contexts, as opposed to being a direct comparison of how one community is doing as compared to another.

The Benchmark is made up of ten key indicators and a comprehensive scoring framework that measures local capacity and resources that need to be in place, as well as the effective management and integration of infrastructure to use, move and source energy as efficiently and locally as possible.

Communities are using the Smart Energy Communities Benchmark to assess where they stand on a range of actions that have been proven to strengthen economies, reduce energy costs and emissions, and boost community resilience.

With this data in hand, municipalities and utilities can show elected officials, stakeholders, and citizens the strengths of their community energy leadership and emissions reductions, and areas where ambition needs to be increased.

In the development of the Benchmark, the project team travelled from coast to coast to coast and met with municipal and utility staff in nine pilot communities and 17 technical advisors across Canada. Their feedback was integral to the process of refining the methodology and identifying best practices. The pilot communities have been an inspiration to the project team and are all examples of Smart Energy Communities. The nine pilot communities include:

The City of Beaconsfield, QC
The Town of Bridgewater, NS
The City of Calgary, AB
The City of Campbell River, BC
The City of Grande Prairie, AB
The Town of Inuvik, NT
The City of London, ON
The City of Markham, ON
The City of Yellowknife, NT
Visit the Smart Energy Communities Benchmark website to learn more.