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In 2015 the City, supported by grant funding from the Ontario Ministry of Energy, began the process of evaluating current and future energy scenarios for our community using the Ministry's Community Energy Planning framework. This work has culminated in the completion of the City's first Municipal Energy Study (MES).

The Municipal Energy Study is the City's first foray into looking at how we use and generate energy from a community perspective. It examines current and future energy use scenarios from the perspective of greenhouse gas emissions and local economic impacts. It examines emerging trends in energy and identifies the following strategic energy objectives:

  • Alignment - Improve Kingston's alignment with Provincial energy & climate strategy and policies;
  • Planning - Continue to integrate desired energy outcomes into local urban planning;
  • Efficiency - Reduce the energy and carbon footprint of new and existing buildings;
  • Generation & Distribution - Localize more of our energy production and distribution;
  • Transportation - Reduce the energy cost and carbon footprint of transportation;
  • Energy Knowledge and Community Capacity – Increase energy literacy and leverage community capacity.

Input from a diverse group of energy stakeholders and the public was used to consider future energy scenarios and identify options for action areas that could address each of the energy objectives.

Perhaps the most important findings of the MES have been the identification or reinforcement of opportunities for carbon reduction, local economic development, and energy affordability posed by the potential for bio-gas production, electrification of transportation, energy efficiency retrofitting of buildings and the potential feasibility of district energy systems in areas of the City with high energy densities. The MES has also identified emerging trends in energy storage technologies that should be monitored by the City and Utilities Kingston to identify opportunities they provide to adapt energy distribution systems to new loads and potentially reduce infrastructure spending. 

The MES underscores the importance of integrating transportation planning into land use and a compact urban form - especially as it relates to the energy used in transportation fuels and the viability of active transportation modes.

Energy systems at the community and regional levels are complex and contain many interdependencies. Energy technology and policy is also changing rapidly in Ontario. Kingston has energy advantages that include its ownership of Utilities Kingston, the City's role and function of Kingston in our region of Ontario, the high potential for solar and wind energy generation, and access to world class research and technology.

The Municipal Energy Study will be useful for those looking to understand and innovate in the local energy field and also as a contributor of data and background to future energy and emissions planning work. The MES also supports implementation of the Kingston Climate Action Plan (KCAP).