Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the January 13 Meeting?

After a month-long holiday break, city council is getting together again. Kicking off the new year, and the new decade, council will gather for the first time as Committee of the Whole to hear about items from the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise agenda, with an emphasis on energy savings initiatives.

Note: If you want to register as a delegate for any of these items on the Committee agenda, then you have to get in touch with the City Clerk’s office by 10 am on Friday January 10.

Before the Committee meeting, there will be a closed meeting of City Council as the shareholder of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc.

GMHI-2020-01 GMHI: District Energy Assets Update – Council will hear information about the assets of the District Energy project in a closed session.

Committee of the Whole

Future-proofing Our Buildings Through Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Report to Guelph City Council in January 2020 – Our Energy Guelph will present their first plan to help Guelph reach net zero by 2050. Executive director Alex Chapman will unveil the PACE program for Committee, PACE standing for Property Assessed Clean Energy, which will be a way for homeowners to fund retrofits that will create for energy efficiency cost-savings. Guelph has tried a program like this before, but this new one is based on a successful model in the U.S. that sees the “loan” tied to the property and not the homeowner, with both the principal and interest paid as part of the property tax bill. The next step will involved OEG developing the detailed program design, and the staging needed for implementation.

IDE-2020-03 Non-decorative LED Streetlight Upgrade Project Update – You may have noticed that City of Guelph crews have been replacing the old streetlights around town with new LED lights, which promote energy efficiency and fewer Greenhouse Gas emissions. There’s just one small issue, “Monitoring indicates that nearly all of the existing electrical wiring for the ‘top-hat’ style streetlights will require replacement. Consequently, the existing project budget contingencies may be exceeded,” the report reads. In layman’s terms, the wiring in streetlights is crappier than anticipated, and it’s going to cost more money. The City’s asking Committee to approve an extra $1 million for the project from the Wastewater Capital Reserve Fund to cover the additional costs. For the record, that’s the approximate annual energy cost savings expected from the transition to LED.

IDE-2019-128 Solid Waste Management Master Plan Update – Mayor Cam Guthrie asked to full this report from the December 6 items for information package. The report refers back to a 2018 meeting where staff was asked to look at strategies for eliminating single-use plastic bags, which was then expanded in 2019 to look at all single-use plastics. This work is being done as part of the Solid Waste Management Master Plan update, and these explorations were tasked to a sub-committee specifically dedicated to the question of what has to be done to eliminate single-use plastics at City facilities. Public engagement has started on the process since last December, and that includes engaging University of Guelph on its efforts to eliminate single-use plastics on campus. The development of the master plan update is still ongoing.

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