Energy & Sustainability Framework Questions
What is the Energy & Sustainability Framework?
The Energy & Sustainability Framework will outline the guiding principles and resulting action plan needed to achieve Regina’s goal of being 100 per cent renewable by 2050. It will include steps to facilitate reliance on renewable energy sources and move toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout Regina.
What work has begun on the Energy & Sustainability Framework?
The City of Regina is securing the services of specialized third-party consultant services to complete an energy use and emissions inventory, establish energy and emissions reduction targets, and producing scenarios that model policy choices and actions from now until 2050.
The City completed its 2019 Energy Inventory for municipal operations, which identifies current energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the operation of the City’s facilities and fleet. This inventory will be updated in 2021.
Our commitment to environmental sustainability is reinforced by policies in Design Regina: The Official Community Plan (OCP). The City has continued to advance OCP policies through projects that have reduced emissions, energy consumption and the organization’s environmental impact, and which bring us closer to a renewable Regina.
What public engagement will there be for the Framework?
There will be many opportunities for public engagement on this project. We are committed to ensuring that public engagement in this project is broad and inclusive and provides opportunity for as many impacted stakeholders and community members to be heard as are interested.
A Community Advisory Group will also be developed to provide input on the guiding policy principles of the framework as well as feedback on the consultant’s analysis, alternatives and proposed action plans
When will the Framework be complete?
Preparation of the Framework is estimated to be complete by the end of 2021 with implementation beginning in January 2022.
What is renewable energy?
Any form of energy from solar, geophysical or biological sources that is replenished by natural processes at a rate that equals or exceeds its rate of use. Examples: biomass, solar, geothermal, hydropower, tidal and waves, ocean thermal, wind, green hydrogen and renewable natural gas.
What is non-renewable energy?
Any form of energy that is not replenished within a time frame that is short, relative to their rate of utilization. Examples: coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear.
What is sustainable energy?
Sustainable energy is the provision of energy to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What does it mean to be 100 per cent renewable as a city?
A renewable city is one whose annual energy consumption is equal to or less than the amount of renewable energy generated or sourced in alternative to non-renewable energy sources. The City of Regina is committed to becoming 100 per cent renewable by 2050 as well as reducing carbon emissions for a greater impact in climate change mitigation.
What other cities have achieved being renewable or are committed to achieving it?
Several Canadian cities have declared that they will be 100 per cent renewable by 2050. These include Saskatoon, Halifax, Vancouver, Guelph, and Charlottetown.
What is the City already doing to be environmentally sustainable?
An investment in renewable and sustainable energy promotes best practices and provides a better environment for Regina’s current and future residents.
The City has already started its sustainability journey through such initiatives as curbside recycling and a pilot compost program, greening Fire Station #4 to receive LEED gold certification, constructing a new wastewater treatment plant and through the Landfill Gas to Energy project. Learn more about current and future projects.
By expanding the City’s renewable by 2050 goal to include focused reductions in carbon emissions, Regina can achieve a greater impact in mitigating climate change.
What has the City done to reduce its carbon emissions?
The City’s Landfill Gas to Energy Facility, completed in 2016, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30,000 tonnes per year, or the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off the road. This is a significant reduction to the City’s total emissions, which total roughly 136,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year. The majority of the City of Regina’s Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the Landfill, followed by City buildings and facilities, as well as the City fleet. By increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption, it is possible for the City to reduce its production of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Another notable source of carbon reduction is the City’s urban forest. By maintaining a healthy tree canopy and continually adding to the number of trees in Regina, the City supports natural energy conversion. It is estimated that Regina’s urban forest is responsible for removing the CO2 equivalent of 3,330 mid-sized vehicles.
In 2020, the City of Regina is among nine Canadian cities to be recognized with the Tree Cities of the World designation by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation. This international program celebrates cities that meet the five core standards for care and planning of urban trees and forests: establish responsibility, set the rules, know what you have, allocate the resources and celebrate achievements.
How does the City plan to adopt renewable energy infrastructure without major tax hikes?
The City will take advantage of available funding sources, such as those from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In addition, as we build out our Energy and Sustainability Framework, we would look for opportunities to identify efficiencies in consumption to reduce our overall energy cost. We will be learning how other cities around the world have funded new technologies, including opportunities to reinvest capital through efficiencies.
The Framework will outline a plan to achieve 100 per cent renewability over a 30-year period. Costs won’t be incurred all at once, and expenditures and recommendations will be made with consideration to the City’s other long-term Master Plans that guide financial planning, infrastructure renewal/development and asset management.
There are also likely significant opportunities to save money too. Becoming more renewable will mean reducing consumption, so less expenses for heating/cooling/electricity. As well, there are economic benefits for the community as this type of transition drives economic growth.
It should also be noted that the cost of not moving toward more sustainable sources of energy will increase as well since the federal government has recently announced plans to increase the carbon tax.
Community Advisory Group Questions
What is the Community Advisory Group?
A key component of the City’ s public engagement is the creation of a Community Advisory Group. This Group will represent multiple sectors within Regina to give ongoing feedback and will consist of representatives from non-profit organizations, business, industry and community groups.
Who is on the Community Advisory Group?
Membership for the Community Advisory Group is intended to be a cross-section of organizations that represent Regina, such as industry and businesses (including but not limited to those focused on energy production), organized labour, Indigenous residents, education, academics, youth, seniors, environmental advocacy groups, ethno-cultural, community support and other equity and impacted stakeholder groups.
What are the responsibilities of the Advisory Group?
The Advisory Group will play a role in developing the guiding principles of the Framework, as well as providing feedback on the scenarios and action plans recommended in the draft Framework report. The Group will be consulted multiple times during the development of the Framework and, when possible, will act as a liaison between the project team and the stakeholders they represent. This will help inform the Framework and ensure the agreed upon guiding principles are realized.
Will there be Indigenous and youth representation in the Group? What efforts are being taken to make the Group diverse and inclusive?
Yes, we have invited Indigenous, First Nations and Metis organizations to participate as well as youth organizations. The City is extending invitations to a broad range of sectors, community organizations and interest groups to identify their interest in being involved.