Solar City Criteria for Canadian Municipalities
This action research project identifies a ten-point set of criteria to guide Canadian municipalities to become solar cities and improve the environmental sustainability and energy security within their jurisdictions. This project was a three-stage research initiative that involved developing an initial set of criteria based on a review of international models, and then refining the set of criteria during two stages of enquiry. The two enquiry stages were conducted with Canadian solar leaders, representatives from 18 municipalities and members of the public and included one-on-one interviews, surveys and two focus group sessions. This project concludes that there is significant support, from both municipalities and citizens, for the establishment of solar cities in Canada by following the set of criteria identified in this study.
This project was sponsored by the City of Dawson Creek with funding provided by Infrastructure Planning Grant Program, a program financed by the Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Community Services.
Criteria for Canadian Solar Cities
After an exhaustive research process that involved interviews, surveys and focus group sessions with people from all across Canada the following is the set of criteria that was accepted by the research subjects and will be the first set of criteria for Solar City designation in Canada.
- The municipality has a climate change plan with short-term and long-term targets and time-frames in place
- The municipality has a community energy plan in place
- The municipality has an energy plan in place for its own facilities
- The municipality has adopted targets for a proportion of total community energy demand to be met by renewable energy
- The municipality has established policies and incentives for solar electricity and solar thermal utilization for residential homeowners
- The municipality has established policies and incentives for solar electricity and solar thermal utilization for commercial ratepayers
- The municipality has a communication plan in place to build awareness of its renewable energy projects and policies
- The municipality has established policies for land use planning to promote and encourage energy efficiency
- Community renewable energy, energy efficiency technologies and green living demonstration projects are developed, supported and encouraged by the city to demonstrate these concepts to the public
- The municipality has policies in place to encourage district energy projects within its jurisdiction