Brampton Council Approves Centre for Community Energy Transformation

CCET logo courtesy City of Brampton

This past Wednesday Brampton Council unanimously approved seed funding for the Centre for Community Energy Transformation, or CCET. This is a very important milestone on the city’s path to a low-carbon future.

The concept for the CCET started in 2018 as part of the Brampton 2040 Vision exercise, one of the most comprehensive public engagement process the City has ever undertaken. The Vision maps how the City will grow over the next 18 years, living the cultural mosaic of our diverse population.

The importance of Brampton as a green, environmentally sustainable city, featured prominently in the public feedback sessions. In response, the vision document called for the creation of an independent organization that would help steward Brampton’s green journey. The CCET is now that organization.

Using 2016 as the baseline year, the City set targets to cut carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, 50% by 2040 and 80% by 2050. Improving building energy efficiency is an important part of achieving Brampton’s Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan.

Courtesy City of Brampton

Residences are the second largest source of climate changing emissions. The average Brampton home consumes more than twice as much energy compared to an A-rated home in Germany. Brampton has a large number of older homes that are less efficient. And most homes burn natural gas for heat and hot water.

A major purpose of the CCET, therefore, will be to help residents reduce energy consumption and convert to lower carbon energy sources. The CCET will work with banks, municipalities and other governments to make it easy for homeowners to finance building retrofits. It will also work with industry and post secondary institutions to recruit and train the auditors, technicians, contractors and installers necessary to create low-risk retrofit solutions at scale that will pay for themselves over time through reduced heating and air conditioning costs.

Depending on the age of the house, retrofits could be as simple as sealing doors and windows or adding insulation to attics, walls, and basements. Or, it could involve replacing natural gas furnaces with high efficiency electric heat pumps, installing solar hot water systems or tapping into a “district energy node”. Regardless, the changes promise exciting times for both residents and business as the Centre for Community Energy Transformation develops over the coming year.

A Downtown Development Project with Sustainable Intent

The past few months has seen a flurry of submissions for Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) in the City of Brampton. So the first refreshing thing about the new development being proposed for the southeast corner of Nelson and Elizabeth Streets is that the applicant, Greenwin + Sweeny Holdings, is not requesting fast-track consideration via an MZO.

The development checks boxes for many of the City’s Sustainable Community Development Guidelines including, compact form, mixed use, walkability and cultural heritage. The project plan includes two towers, 42 and 34 stories respectively that will provide a mix of 205 hotel suites, 694 sq m of retail space, and 771 long-term rental residential units, 40 of which will be affordable housing. The project’s location and building concept is designed to enhance walkability and to “attract residents who will want to live in alignment with ‘One Planet Living’ principles.”

Initially the buildings will provide 477 vehicular parking spaces on four floors, one below grade and three above. The three above grade parking levels, however, can be repurposed for additional commercial or residential space, as Brampton’s GO transit hub expands services and the need for personal automobiles lessens.

The project will conserve and restore the heritage property at 24 Elizabeth, once home to Brampton’s first Mayor, John Haggert from 1874-76. The house could be repurposed as a hostel or restaurant/café with an outdoor patio. Landscaping amenities including street trees and public art help flesh out the project description.

As details emerge we will be looking for the project to include innovative sustainability features in the final design such as, ground sourced energy for HVAC, solar panels and or green roof systems, grey water management systems and, bird friendly windows. 

The city is creating a Centre for Energy Transformation that will be operational in the next two years with the intent to make Brampton and Peel Region a world leader in energy management and carbon reduction. Imagine this development as a model of sustainable urban design in Brampton’s downtown.  We are excited by the possibilities!

Nurturing Neighbourhoods Program Survey-Participate Today!

Nurturing Neighbourhoods
Nurturing Neighbourhoods logo

The Nurturing Neighbourhoods program provides residents the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their neighbourhood! 

Complete the Nurturing Neighbourhoods survey and participate in the online mapping tool – this will allow us to capture comments from you; telling us what you love about your neighbourhood, what you wish was there, and where we could do better.

The survey is offered in multiple languages including Gujarati. Simply select your language at the top of the survey screen. Participants completing the survey by January 30, 2022, will be entered into a draw for a chance to win 1 of 10 prizes.

Learn more!

BEA Meeting Wednesday December 8, 2021 6:15pm

The next meeting of the Brampton Environmental Alliance will be held virtually on Wednesday December 8th. Informal networking at 6:15pm. The meeting starts at 6:30pm sharp! Click the Register button for your free ticket.

Presentations

Dianne Saxe

Keynote presentation by Dr. Dianne Saxe. Dianne Saxe is one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers and was the independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, until the Conservative Government rolled that position under the Office of the Auditor General in 2019. Dianne is running as a member of Provincial Parliament candidate for the Green Party of Ontario (University Rosedale riding) in next year’s Provincial election. Dianne is an articulate defender of the environment and a champion of the new green economy. The BEA is thrilled Dianne has agreed to share her passion and environmental knowledge with BEA meeting participants.

Tooba Shakeel – LEAF newsletter

Spotlight presentation by Tooba Shakeel. Tooba is a Senior Coordinator of Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program (SNAP) at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). She is an ISA Certified Arborist, an EcoDistrict Accredited Professional and a Board member of LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests) a Toronto-based not-for-profit group dedicated to urban forest protection. Thanks to Tooba for agreeing to share information about CVC programs in Brampton including the Fletcher’s Creek SNAP!

After the main meeting, those who wish to become more involved in the BEA can join one of the three working groups described below. Sign up to join one of the three working groups here.

Working Groups

  • Events
    This group coordinates events for members and assists with events for residents – BEA Collaboration event, Brampton Earth Day event
  • Education and Resources
    This group arranges talks on environmental topics, using the One Planet principles of focus: Land and Nature, Culture and Community, Travel and Transport as they relate to Brampton. The group also helps connect members to needed resources and expertise on financing and various environmental topics
  • Advocacy
    This group helps coordinate and amplify community advocacy campaigns and environmental initiatives under the three One Planet principles above.