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Source: University of Guelph

Community Energy Planning Focus of Nov. 15 Event

November 8, 2006

The University of Guelph is part of a local consortium that has teamed up to promote the concept of community energy planning. U of G staff, students and faculty and other community members will have an opportunity to learn about the initiative at a presentation and information session Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. in Room 1714 of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Lifetime Learning Centre.

"The goal is to set the scene for the need for community energy plans, to describe some efforts by leaders in the international community and to present the work done on Guelph’s plan," says Gillian Maurice, the University’s sustainability co-ordinator. "We’re hoping the presentation will spark discussion and allow the community energy planning group to solicit feedback and public opinion from the University community."

At the presentation, international energy expert Peter Garforth will provide an overview of the process to date. The Purdue University professor and consultant is known for his success in working with communities, corporations and policy-makers to reduce energy consumption. Garforth visited Guelph last November as a guest lecturer, discussing how community energy planning can help reduce the harmful economic and environmental effects of energy use. He is serving as a consultant on the Guelph initiative.

The Guelph Community Energy Plan is being supported through U of G’s Faculty of Environmental Sciences under its new Environmental Science Research Initiative. It supports projects that bring together teams of researchers to address topical issues such as energy and pollution and environmental and human health. Community energy planning was one of three projects chosen this fall for inaugural funding.

It’s being developed in co-ordination with members of the local consortium, which consists of U of G, the City of Guelph, Guelph Hydro Inc., Union Gas, the Upper Grand District School Board, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington Catholic District School Board, the Guelph Developers Association and the Friends of Guelph.

"As one of Guelph’s largest energy users and the nation’s greatest academic institutions, the University of Guelph is well-positioned to play a leadership role in educating citizens and students," says Dorothy Remmer, the local consultant on the energy initiative.

"Through input and action, the U of G community can help guide the development and design of a long-term, broad-scale community energy plan that will help ensure the sustainability and security of Guelph’s energy future. Such a positive outcome, if achieved, would make Guelph and the University of Guelph role models for Canada and beyond."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519 824- 4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.



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