By Rosemary Keenan, Chair Sierra Peel Group
On June 5, 2019 the City of Brampton Council responded to growing community concerns and declared a Climate Emergency. Since then the City has been accelerating development of a Community Energy and Emissions Reductions Plan (CEERP) designed to transform Brampton’s energy use and reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
The City of Brampton is partnering with Sheridan College to develop the CEERP. This Plan aims to integrate efforts of the municipality,
local utilities and community stakeholders and create a roadmap that will improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ensure energy security, create economic advantage, and increase resilience to climate change.
The CEERP Task Force is a team of community champions and principal advisors that has been assisting a City led Project Working Team to develop a draft CEERP plan with targets. Check it out online HERE. Sessions are currently being held for the public to review the plan. The plan will then go to Brampton Council for approval in May to: earn community buy-in for the goals and strategies of the CEERP; grow the capacity of the community to implement the CEERP; and motivate the public and community stakeholders to act.
Sierra Club member David Laing, past Co-chair of the Brampton Community Advisory Committee is one of the stakeholders taking a role on the CEERP task force to encourage bold climate action. The targets for CEERP are a 30% reduction in energy use and carbon emissions
by 2030, and an 80% reduction by 2050.
This project has already begun with the Sheridan Davis Campus and is projected to expand to the surrounding buildings and residences. The goal is to extend Sheridan’s networks into community district energy nodes, establish appropriate governance, and validate a replicable
and scalable model for academic-municipal collaboration on district energy. In addition to Sheridan College, Morguard Corporation Bramalea City Centre owner) and RioCan REIT (owner of Shoppers World Brampton) are members of the Task Force; they are looking at
Sheridan’s Office for Sustainability seeks to engage staff and students in sustainability initiatives as part of the institution’s core values, identity and future goals. The Office’s primary activities are guided by Sheridan’s Mission Zero commitment, which is comprised of two major initiatives: (1) The Integrated Energy and Climate Master Plan (IECMP), which aims to decrease the College’s overall energy and carbon emissions by 50% as of 2030; and (2) Zero Waste Sheridan, the enthusiastic undertaking to become a Zero Waste campus by 2020.
“A modern district energy network provides tremendous benefits in reliability, sharing and transferring heat from location to location, and efficient central generation of energy,” said Herb Sinnock, Sheridan’s Manager of Sustainable Energy Systems and the lead researcher for the Partnering Across Boundaries Project. “With this investment, we’ll build on our own district energy project to reach out to our communities in Brampton and Oakville to work together in developing neighbourhood district energy plans, the first step in establishing municipal thermal district energy utilities.”
Sheridan’s District Energy Project has transformed the Davis and Trafalgar campuses into centralized energy hubs, providing heating and cooling on site while sharing additional energy with surrounding communities. District energy systems help conserve energy while increasing
usage efficiency, and are an important component of the IECMP. The Sheridan College District Energy Centre on Davis Campus in Brampton is housed in the new Skilled Trades building. It showcases modern systems for the simultaneous production of thermal and electrical energy, and is also used as an educational tool for engineering technology programs, as well as a training facility for the numerous trades programs delivered at Sheridan.
Methods to reduce GHG emissions include converting to renewable energy sources, encouraging greater infrastructure efficiencies, use of active transportation, public transit (electric), and personal e-vehicles. Consolidation of building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems by using district energy is a big part of the plan.
Of the current carbon emissions in Brampton, 80% come from vehicles and buildings, with 59% coming from transportation, and 21% from residential buildings. 13% of emissions come from industrial, 5% from commercial, and 2% from institutional buildings. By the numbers, Brampton spends $1.8 billion on energy each year on all transportation, residential, commercial, and institutional activities. $1.4 billion (78%) of those energy dollars leave the community. 27% of the energy that the community pays for does not reach our homes; this energy is primarily lost as heat when one form of energy is converted to another for our use, and through transmission and distribution.
Current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for every Brampton resident are approximately 2 times greater than global best practice, and 10 times higher than the Government of Canada’s goals for 2050. On average, homes and buildings in Brampton are approximately half as
efficient as global benchmarks. With transportation accounting for 59% of Brampton’s emissions, this is a key area for reductions: through improved land-use plans that favour transit-oriented/walkable/livable neighbourhoods; electric buses and e-vehicles; charging infrastructure; and walking and cycling infrastructure for active transportation.
The Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Program(CEERP) will act as a guide to help the City, its residents, and businesses develop and adopt new best practices to improve our overall energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and make positive economic and environmental impacts in our community. The City of Brampton wants us to learn more and have our say. A series of open houses are being held in March. A survey is posted on the City website, and the public is welcome to attend and observe the CEERP task force meetings held monthly at Brampton City Hall.
Meet the team working on this plan, ask them questions, help encourage bold climate action.
● Monday, March 9, 4 - 8 p.m. at Cassie Campbell Community Centre
● Tuesday, March 10, 4 - 8 p.m. at Springdale Library
● Wednesday, March 11, 4 - 8 p.m. at Brampton Soccer Centre
● Tuesday, March 17, 1 - 4 p.m. at South Fletcher’s Sportsplex
● Wednesday, March 18, 1 - 4 p.m. at Gore Meadows Community Centre
● Thursday, March 19, 1 - 4 p.m. at Brampton Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive
We can thank the City of Brampton for setting reasonable climate targets and we can push for even more effective action. To limit warming to 1.5 C and avoid the most extreme impacts of climate change, the city needs to further strengthen those targets to 60 percent reduction by
2030 and 100 percent reduction by 2050.