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Community Energy Map (2014-Present)

Client:  City of Sault Ste. Marie, Municipal Environmental Initiatives Committee

The CGC and the City of Sault Ste. Marie have partnered on a community energy mapping project that will serve to support the implementation of its recommendations of the Smart Energy Strategy, including the exploration of district energy opportunities and development of regional infrastructure. The City would also like to identify ways to track and increase participation in conservation and demand management programs; identify barriers to participating in these programs or reducing energy consumption; map consumer demand and identify hot spots; develop a baseline that can be re-evaluated in future years; expand the relationship with the local utilities; assist with decision-making and strategic planning, including social housing priorities; increase the community's understanding of energy use and conservation; find opportunities to enhance the community's competitiveness and marketability. GIS will be utilized to produce maps for analysis, and allow the City, utilities, and the public (in some instances) to visualize consumption patterns across the community.

Mapping will consist of: residential structures by construction date and grouped by decade; electricity and gas consumption data aggregated by postal code from local utilities; average consumption per household and per square foot for both energy types and combined energy; LDC uptake in energy conservation and demand management programs; demographics related to energy consumption and complete analysis to determine conclusions; lighting distribution to determine illumination levels and identify potential opportunities to reduce wattage; and applications for assistance to pay heating bills from United Way and Social Services applications for energy retrofits to assist with prioritization.

Several City Divisions will benefit from the information obtained from the energy mapping program. The Engineering and Planning Department can use the data for neighbourhood planning, including where and how much energy is being consumed across the community. Targeting energy related education initiatives within the community is an essential portion of the energy mapping process and will assist in monitoring the short-term and long-term success of implementing energy conservation and demand management programs, as well as new and innovative energy efficiency technologies. Energy reduction will assist the City in climate change mitigation efforts.  Over time it can help shape policy development, including the City's Official Plan. The Social Services Department would like to obtain this information to help prioritize retrofit opportunities within their social housing portfolio. The City of Sault Ste. Marie is often known as the "Alternative Energy Capital of North America" and the Energy Mapping project will assist in maintaining Council's proclamation. It will help find opportunities to grow the City's profile in the energy sector, including future renewable energy projects.

It is expected that the community energy mapping project will be completed in 2015.

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