The mantra behind replacing all elements of our fossil-fuel laden society and economy with a new and robust electricity grid.
Our entire energy system, including heating and transportation, needs to be electrified. We’ve done a great job of getting rid of coal in Ontario, however, now is the time to go after other fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. Some may argue that natural gas is ‘less bad’ than coal or oil based products. However, natural gas is still a fossil fuel that contributes significantly to climate change. This is not the time to be increasing our reliance on another form of fossil fuel: all of the systems in our homes, businesses and institutions need to be electrified. Additionally, this means accelerating alternatives to gas and diesel in the transportation sector. To do this, prioritizing sustainable modes of transportation is necessary, such as walking, biking and public transit, and switching to an all-electric transportation system including e-bikes and e-vehicles.
Imagine heating your home with the same amount of energy needed by three TVs. That doesn’t sound like a lot of energy, but it does sound like a lot of work. We’ll help you get there!
Despite assumptions that to be energy efficient, we need solar panels on our roof, to drive an electric car, and to install heat pumps in our homes, this is simply not true! The best place to start in terms of reaching three TVs worth of energy is to reduce the amount of energy you need first, rather than looking for new systems to use in our inefficient homes.
See our “Where do I start” page for more details!
Switching to renewable energy sources isn’t just a technological feat. It’s also a social one. The City of Guelph committed to establish interim climate targets for the entire community in 2021. To date, only 2.2% of emissions have been addressed. And nothing has been brought to the public or council to complete this critical part of our Community Energy Initiative (CEI). According to the Guelph Community Energy Initiative, “the responsibility of public authorities to be fully engaged with the goals of the community cannot be overestimated.” Managing the community’s energy future and addressing climate change are foundational to the day-to-day work of the municipality. Visit out Advocacy page to learn about about how to get involved. Your support does matter—The City of Guelph added four electric buses in 2023!
Air pollution causes more than 3,000 premature deaths every year in the GTHA (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, which includes Guelph). Despite one of the leading causes of air pollution being vehicle traffic, hundreds of new gas-consuming vehicles are introduced onto the road daily. Electric vehicles, commonly known as EVs, may seem like the first reasonable option to combat this, however how we plan our city should be our first line of defence. Building a city that prioritizes active forms of transportation like walking and biking first, with an electrified public transportation system and electrified private vehicles following this can have a significant impact. All of this needs to be done while ensuring we have built accessibility for all into our system every step of the way.
Active transportation is the act of using your own power to get from one place to another. This includes: walking, biking or cycling, skateboarding, in-line skating or rollerblading, running, wheel chairing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Active transportation offers a range of benefits, including: health, social benefits like getting more involved in our communities, transportation benefits, environmental benefits in reduced emissions, and economic benefits in saved fuel costs.
There are many ways to fight climate change. However, when it comes to transportation planning, our approach at eMERGE is quite clear. Society has to take an approach that prioritizes the following methods of transportation with this order of importance:
- Electrified public transit
- Electrified personal transportation (i.e. cars)
We all know that water is a finite resource and that we must treat it with the utmost respect. Guelph has a limited water supply as it is one of the largest communities in the country that gets its water from the ground. However, in retrieving water, energy is used to pump, treat and clean any water before and after it comes and goes to our homes. That amounts to 20% of all the energy that the City of Guelph uses. This doesn’t even include the energy that we use to heat water when we finally get it! The energy used to heat our water in our homes is the second largest use of energy after space heating and cooling.
When we use water more efficiently, we use less energy to supply it to us and heat it. Once again, by reducing the energy we use, we can make it easier to get to 100% renewable energy. eMERGE can help you reduce your water consumption – including heated water – through our Home Tune-Up. Additionally, we can help you become a ‘Water Hero’ with the City’s Blue Built Homes program.