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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Laura Tozer

Tozer, Laura (2013). Community energy plans in Canadian cities: success and barriers in implementation. Local Environment 18(1): 20-35.

Author(s) from Durham


Climate change and sustainable development concerns have motivated some municipalities in Canada to develop community energy plans, which focus on energy needs at the local level for the development of efficient, economical and environmental energy systems. Five Canadian cities that were early adopters of community energy planning principles were studied to assess whether implementation has occurred and what barriers have been experienced. The cities achieved success in the implementation of energy management in municipal operations despite barriers in jurisdiction, perception of cost, communication and capacity, but energy management in the community had not been fully implemented and long-term changes were not prevalent. While reductions were made in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by municipal operations, the community's overall GHG emissions were not significantly reduced. Long-term impacts on a city's function and growth will be key if community energy planning is to significantly impact community-wide GHG emissions and energy use.