Guelph Looks to Advance Target Date for Zero Carbon Use

Published on May 13, 2019

As it now stands, the city of Guelph has plans to become carbon neutral by 2050, but the city council will soon be meeting to discuss a motion to move the target up to 2035.

At a recent city council meeting, Our Energy Guelph put forward the newly updated energy plan which is intended to help the community become carbon neutral by 2050 - it has taken two years to put together.

The plan includes 25 possible actions that the city of Guelph can undertake to work towards becoming carbon neutral and 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2050.

Some of these actions include: all electric city buses, using the Guelph river for minor hydro generation, and making homes and buildings more energy efficient through retrofits and changes to the building code.

Jonathan Knowles, co-chair of Our Energy Guelph, said that by moving the 2050 date forward to 2035, they would need time to make another plan; instead of getting to work immediately and taking measures that help the city become carbon neutral without delay.

He also adds that they would like to reach the goal of zero carbon use earlier than 2050, and that the target can be reassessed as they progress with their plan.

Kirby Calvert, the other co-chair of Our Energy Guelph, mentioned that the 2050 plan is in line with the desires of the scientific community, and that by moving the timeline forward to 2035, it would require a larger amount of financing.

The financing for the 2050 goal has also not yet been set in stone, and Calvert mentioned that the majority of funding will not be coming from taxpayers.  

The 25 possible actions in the 2050 energy plan are also said to be capable of creating approximately 1,300 full time jobs and generating millions of dollars for the local economy.


Retrofitting Your Home Towards Zero Carbon Use

For most homeowners, a completely carbon neutral home is a rather difficult goal to achieve. However, a Net-Zero Energy or Net-Zero Ready home is affordable and effective at lowering utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

A Net-Zero Energy home is a home that is capable of generating the same amount of energy as it consumes over a yearlong period. To do this, it combines high levels of energy efficiency with onsite renewable energy sources (such as solar). A Net-Zero Ready home is similar in terms of energy efficiency, but it differs in that it does not have any renewable energy sources onsite. It is called Net-Zero ‘Ready’ because it is ‘ready’ to have onsite renewable energy installed.

The cost of building or retrofitting a home towards Net-Zero Energy levels is rapidly becoming more affordable due to product innovations and advancements in building envelope science. Also, a number of rebates are available to Ontario homeowners, which helps make it more affordable for homeowners to improve their energy efficiency. This includes the Home Efficiency Rebate program which is available to customers of Union Gas and Enbridge Gas, and can total up to $5,000 for making insulation, airtightness, and window upgrades (among others).

To get started with your Home Efficiency Rebate, or to take the first steps towards a more energy efficient home, call us through our free phone consultation service, or send us an email at


The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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