City Council has just committed to implementing an Energy Reporting and Benchmarking policy for large buildings, a long-awaited victory for one of TAF’s key policy initiatives. Energy reporting and benchmarking is high on the list of strategies to reduce urban emissions, as 37% of Toronto’s GHGs come from large buildings.
Toronto is giving the province until Dec 31, 2015 to adopt an Ontario-wide policy, or else it is ready to implement its own by-law and implementation plan for the City, which has been in the works since 2014. Either way, Toronto will be the first City in Canada to implement a mandatory energy reporting and benchmarking policy, following closely on the heels of leading cities around the globe.
What does this mean for Toronto?
According to the proposed plan, the bylaw would apply to over 3,000 buildings totaling 500-million square feet. The policy is expected to deliver significant environmental, social, and economic benefits for Toronto.
According to impact modelling commissioned by the City, the policy has the potential to generate the following cumulative benefits over a twenty year period:
TAF has been integral to the policy development process, beginning with this background report in 2014. TAF’s 2014 Dan Leckie Forum brought together stakeholders from the real-estate sector, utilities, academia, and all three levels of government to assess the merits of an energy reporting and benchmarking policy for Toronto. Based on the positive response at the Forum, TAF’s board councillors advanced a motion to develop the by-law, and TAF staff provided expert advice and deputed in favour of the bylaw at two Parks and Environment Committee meetings. TAF also committed to offsetting bylaw implementation costs with a grant of $192,376, and has been a core participant on the City’s implementation working group.
On Monday, June 22, City staff presented to the Parks & Environment Committee on research and stakeholder consultations undertaken on the energy reporting and benchmarking (ERB) policy for large buildings. Recently, the Province announced it may adopt an Ontario-wide policy, and the City will wait until year end to go forward with its own plan if the Province does not move forward. Whichever level of government takes the lead, one thing is clear: large buildings in Toronto will soon be required to follow the guidelines, resulting in significant GHG and cost savings.