Community Energy Planning (CEP) is a process that considers energy early in the land-use and infrastructure planning process, and identifies opportunities to integrate local energy solutions at a building or neighbourhood-scale.

With the overall goal of reducing energy use and increasing the use of renewable-low carbon energy sources at a building and/or neighbourhood scale, examples of community energy planning include the extensive greening of homes and buildings, and the development and use of District Energy Systems.

Community energy planning is a key component of TransformTO, Toronto’s climate action plan to reduce emissions from buildings and help the City to reach its net zero by 2040 target. Buildings currently generate more than half of the GHG emissions in Toronto.

In addition to alleviating some of the challenges posed by Toronto’s rapid population growth, the energy, environmental and economic benefits of community energy planning include:

  • Fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Less strain on energy infrastructure
  • Improved resilience to power outages, as more backup power is installed in residential buildings and recreation centres
  • Job creation and investment in the local economy

Community Energy Plans prepared for neighbourhoods focus on improving existing buildings and integrating renewable energy. Plans created as part of Secondary Plans, Precinct Plans or Avenue Studies led by City Planning, focus on areas of significant development and growth such as:

  • Centres and Avenues: Downtown, Yonge & Eglinton, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and North York, and Avenues, particularly those with planned higher-order transit
  • Mixed Use, Regeneration Areas: Areas such as the Central Waterfront and Port Lands, for example, have significant development potential.
  • Institutional Areas: Academic, healthcare and government institutions tend to have permanent locations, which enhances the prospects for innovative energy solutions.

To date, Community Energy Plans have been prepared and implemented for the following Toronto neighbourhoods

  • Lawrence-Allen
  • Mimico-by-the-Lake
  • Scarborough Centre
  • Westwood Theatre Lands
  • Lower Yonge Precinct
  • Mount Dennis
  • Consumers Road Business Park
  • Downtown
  • Port Lands

Backup Power Guidelines

These guidelines for building developers, owners and managers support the design / retrofit of buildings that are more resilient to power outages.

Energy Strategy Terms of Reference for New Developments

Applicants are required to submit an Energy Strategy Report as part of a complete application for new development.

Mechanical System Design Guidelines for Low Carbon Buildings

Guidelines and associated capital costs for low carbon mechanical system designs in new and existing multi-unit residential and commercial
office buildings.