Town of Newmarket
Community Energy Plan
In 2016, the Town of Newmarket, Ontario approved their Community Energy Plan (CEP), providing a vision for sustainable energy that would allow the community to manage energy resources and use, while contributing to economic development. It also provides a platform to demonstrate leadership at the community level by positioning Newmarket to respond to provincial policy related to climate change, as well as to capitalize on funding opportunities for progressive energy planning in the future. The CEP brings significant environmental, social and economic benefits to Newmarket by adjusting how energy is consumed and generated in the community, in addition to considering how this impacts the overall quality of life of its residents.
The Garforth Team, collaborating with LURA Consulting, worked closely with a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG), which oversaw the development of the CEP from January 2015 to March 2016. The SAG included key community, regional and provincial stakeholders and provided guidance and active participation through each phase of the CEP’s development. (See 8. Additional Project References for more information on the Town of Newmarket Community Energy Plan.)
A high-priority implementation strategy of the CEP called for most existing residential homes to have deep energy efficiency retrofits, yielding efficiency gains between 30% and 50%. Following the approval of the Newmarket CEP, the Garforth Team was retained to develop a detailed business case to support this CEP strategy aimed at retrofitting 80% of the existing homes in the town in the next 20 years.
The development of the R-NEER Business Case followed an innovative approach developed by the Garforth Team. The energy demand modeling included the creation of archetypes calibrated to represent the age and type of the City’s housing stock to enable appropriate combinations of retrofit measures to be simulated and compared. The team populated the Integration Workbook (GI-IP) and associated analytical tools that generated layered GIS mapping, multiple profiles of energy demand and costs, retrofit investments and emissions impacts. The financial modeling followed GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
The analytical process continuously informed an extensive Engagement Strategy (ES), which was developed at the outset of the project. Central to the ES was the creation of the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG), tasked with the mission to support and guide the process and to provide endorsement when the R-NEER Business Case was presented to Council. The SAG also carried the critical mission to ensure consistency to the direction provided by the Council-approved Municipal Energy Plan (2016). SAG Membership was developed through a rigorous stakeholder identification and assessment process, and their roles and responsibilities were detailed in the group’s formal Charter.
Coordinating with the Project Working Team (PWT), the SAG oversaw multi-level engagement activities with several key stakeholder groups including homeowners, contractors, financial interests (i.e. potential program investors), the community at large and municipal staff & departments. Each engagement activity was supported by its own unique set of engagement tools including presentations, feedback surveys and in-meeting polling. All engagements were documented and included in the project’s final reporting. The Garforth Team also provided content and strategic advice to the Town in developing a Communication Plan that included social media, public events and community-wide surveys.
Existing homes cause about 28% of the Town’s current emissions. Once fully implemented by 2041, R-NEER will cut this by over 65% in this sector alone, exceeding the levels needed to contribute to the overall emission reduction goal for the town set in the CEP. The resulting business activity managed by a new town-wide retrofit entity will create over 300 high-quality jobs working with partner contractors and in the community. Homeowners will benefit from reduced energy costs, low-interest financing and enhanced comfort and property values.
The Business Case was developed during 2019 with formal approval by Council in 2020. Following approval, the Garforth Team has been retained to support the town in identifying and evaluating a long-term Implementation Partner to fully implement the approved R-NEER Business Case. This is an ongoing task.
Team Participation: Project included Peter Garforth as Strategic Lead, Rob Kerr as Project Manager, Cindy Palmatier as Project Administrator, Energy Demand by Baumann Consulting, Energy Supply and Distribution by Dipl.-Ing. Gerd Fleischhammer, others.