Another Energy Conscious Community takes action
May 30, 2021
Essex County approved their Regional Energy Plan on May 19, 2021. The region is a shining example of what happens when a community becomes “energy conscious”. They take action to reduce energy consumption, emissions, and costs.
Essex County was highly motivated to embark on this journey. In 2019 and 2020, the region was under flood watches and warnings for hundreds of days in a row. Lake levels remain at unprecedented highs. One-in-100-year flood events are happening with increased frequency. The cost for municipalities, residents and businesses was in the millions.
While the region has no choice but to adapt to climate change, they recognized this would not be enough. The social and economic costs would only grow without action. The cost of doing nothing was very clear.
So, the community chose to act and through a bottom up and collaborative approach designed an energy strategy that would put them on the path to net zero while supporting rural sustainability.
Municipal political support is key to implementation. Unanimous Regional Council support sets up the community for success. Implementation of the plan will require action from all sectors - government, business, civil society and individuals.
The executive summary of their plan can be found here.
Once a community becomes "energy conscious" and understands not only the risks but the opportunities, they are hard pressed to stay with the status quo.