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City of Burlington Electric Mobility and Climate Action Plan Update

Council Receives - Electric Mobility CAP Updates - TW

MY TAKE:

The Burlington Climate Action Plan Update we received is great work by staff and the students at McMaster University! The goals for a municipality are captured in its budget. We can plan all we like, but if we don’t fund it, those plans go nowhere. I look forward to future discussions on this and how the Council at the time will move this forward. I absolutely agree that we need to advocate for more incentives from the Provincial government to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) to complement what is already out there at the federal level.

I’d like to thank our City staff and BurlingtonGreen for their incredible work and service to the community with our Electric Mobility Strategy. We know to truly tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reach our target to be a net carbon zero community by 2050, we have to get our community to help us. We know 90% of emissions come from commercial and residential centres, with transportation and buildings taking on the vast form of those emissions, so promoting EVs and going green in as many aspects of our lives as possible is a key piece in the puzzle. Advocacy to upper levels of government is also integral to this plan. I look forward to the further discussions that will be had on this at budget time.

*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — Sept. 21, 2022 — On Sept. 20, City staff presented the Electric Mobility Strategy (also see Electric Mobility Strategy staff report) to Burlington City Council and also provided a progress report on the Climate Action Plan (also see Climate Action Plan Update staff report and McMaster University Renewable Energy Research). This strategy directly supports the City’s Climate Action Plan target to become a net carbon zero community by 2050.

Electric Mobility Strategy

The Electric Mobility Strategy will support and encourage the use of electric mobility options. These options include electric vehicles (EV), electric bikes, and electric (stand-up kick) scooters in the community through the implementation of four key action areas:

  1. Charging Infrastructure and Grid Capacity: Growing residential and workplace charging capacity and expanding public charging opportunities, while working to ensure the electricity grid can support increased electric mobility uptake.
  2. City Leadership: Leading by example through fleet electrification and advocating to other levels of government to implement policies that support electric mobility options.
  3. Education and Awareness: Providing opportunities and resources for the community to learn about EVs and other electric mobility options, in addition to electric charging technology.
  4. Equity and Accessibility: Working with community partners to ensure equitable access to charging stations.

Next steps include working with the Climate Action Plan Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee to determine the resources needed to implement the plan over a five-year period.

Electric Mobility Strategy Background

The City of Burlington partnered with BurlingtonGreen to conduct a comprehensive, inclusive, strategic engagement and research process over an eight-month period. This included gathering and reviewing local insights, forecast trends, and best practices to inform the development of the electric mobility strategy for Burlington.

Community input included an online survey with 665 responses, stakeholder engagement with 39 different organizations and a Plug’n Drive event with 203 appointments and 362 EV test drives.

For more information on the Electric Mobility Strategy, visit getinvolvedburlington.ca/electric-mobility-strategy

Climate Action Plan progress report

In 2019, Burlington City Council declared a climate emergency and in 2020 Council approved the Burlington Climate Action Plan with a pathway to become a net carbon zero community by 2050. There are seven key program areas identified in the plan to help achieve the target. On Sept. 15, 2022, City staff provided an update to City Council which included:

Deep Energy Efficiency Retrofits – a feasibility study, Better Homes Burlington: Recommendations Report for a City of Burlington Home Retrofit Program, was completed by the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College with assistance from the Bay Area Climate Change Council. A small-scale pilot was recommended for a home energy efficiency retrofit program, with an interest-bearing loan for air source heat pumps and leak sealing. Air source heat pumps are energy efficient, using electricity (low emission source of energy) to provide cooling and heating.

Renewable Energy – research was completed by Engineering and Public Policy masters’ students from the McMaster University W. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology Program. This research looked at best practices to support the adoption of renewable energy in Burlington. The top three recommendations are:

  1. Ensuring good information is available online about the types of renewable energy and the steps required, including permits and approvals, for homeowners and businesses who are interested in these measures;
  2. Direction on how to find a qualified contractor and installer; and,
  3. Financial support or incentives to help accelerate adoption of renewable energy.

City staff will assess options to implement the recommendations in collaboration with the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Climate Action Plan.

Integrated Mobility – the City’s first Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) is underway and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023. The IMP is taking an innovative approach by focusing on the movement of people instead of just vehicles, as traditional transportation plans would do. Sustainable and active transportation options will be prioritized, including walking, cycling and transit. The IMP has the following vision: Mobility in Burlington will be safe, accessible, sustainable, balanced and livable.

For more information on the Climate Action Plan and other environmental projects, visit burlington.ca/environment

“The Electric Mobility Strategy will become more important as the technology and access to electric vehicles grows. Switching personal use vehicles to electric is one of the major opportunities for greenhouse gas reductions in Burlington. This strategy directly supports the City’s Climate Action Plan target to become a net carbon zero community by 2050. The transportation sector currently represents over 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Burlington, signalling a strong need to speed up the shift to sustainable modes of transportation to reduce the city’s overall emissions profile.” — Allan Magi, Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services, City of Burlington

“BurlingtonGreen was proud to prepare the first community-based Electric Mobility Strategy in partnership with the City of Burlington. This project builds on the knowledge and experience we have gained through our Make the Switch program – working with residents and businesses to reduce our use of fossil fuels with a goal to become a net carbon neutral community. Broad community engagement was important to us so we could understand barriers and work with stakeholders to develop actions to accelerate electric mobility. BurlingtonGreen looks forward to supporting the implementation of the strategy.” — Amy Schnurr, Executive Director, BurlingtonGreen

About BurlingtonGreen

Established in 2007, BurlingtonGreen is a citizen-led, not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to protect the environment and mobilize the community to make Burlington a healthy, environmentally responsible city.

Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at burlington.ca/subscribe and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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