Thanks to revised criteria issued by the provincial government’s Municipal Greenhouse Gas Challenge Fund, the town of Carleton Place is applying for a number of grants that would help reduce its climate change footprint. Chief Administrative Officer Paul Knowles told the physical environment committee on Nov. 7 that this opportunity will open the door to possible funding for energy efficient streetlights and completion of an active transportation commuter transit plan.
The fund’s original call for applications was too restrictive for many communities that had not completed inventories of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduction targets, and plans to achieve them. As a result, a new round of applications will allow any towns to apply as long as they commit to completing the report on GHG inventory, targets, and execution plans within 18 months, and confirm that pledge via a council resolution.
The primary sources of GHG emissions in Carleton Place include natural gas for heating homes and businesses, gas and diesel for the town’s vehicular fleet, and fossil fuels burned by commuters. A November 2017 emissions reduction statement produced by the town declares that Carleton Place supports Ontario’s targets for GHG reduction of 15 per cent in 2020, 37 per cent in 2030 and 80 per cent in 2050.
To achieve the 2020 goal, the town is exploring new efficient furnaces for the Carambeck community centre and town hall, replacement of street lighting with LED instruments, and smart controls for the arena ice surface that will ultimately reduce energy consumption. Community members will be encouraged to support active transportation (cycling, walking), park and ride facilities, and electric vehicle charge stations.
“By ingraining energy management into the town’s culture, this will display leadership and social responsibility, improve the quality of service delivery, and enhance the quality of life for staff, residents, and future generations,” the statement reads.