The Town of Aurora is committed to protecting our environment and the municipality has taken important steps over the years to improve our practices.  The Town of Aurora has several programs that both reduce the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions and also adapt to a changing climate.

Learn what we're doing to reduce our impact on climate change and how you can help by exploring the topics below. 

Blue Dot Initiative
The Town joined the Blue Dot movement in 2016. The Blue Dot movement is a campaign based on the idea that everyone in Canada deserves the right to a healthy environment, including clean air and water, and a say in decisions that affect our health and well-being.
Climate Emergency

In October 2019, the Town Council joined 457 Canadian municipalities and declared a Climate Emergency. Those cities, have established a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050, as per the Paris Accord.

The declaration solidifies the Town’s commitments to implementing all the environmental plans completed or under development, such as the Corporate Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan, the Corporate Environmental Action Plan, the Community Energy Plan, the Natural Heritage System Study and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

Community Energy Plan
The community-wide energy plan is a GHG emission inventory. It forecasts and sets GHG emission reduction targets, and developed strategies on reducing those emissions. The analysis looked at residential, commercial and industrial energy use in the Town, and estimates different energy consumption scenarios in the future.

The Town engaged a stakeholder working group to support the development of the plan, which includes experts in the field, an Aurora Town Councillor and an Aurora resident. 

For more information the Community Energy Plan.

Corporate Environmental Action Plan (CEAP)
The Town of Aurora has a Corporate Environmental Action Plan (CEAP), a five-year plan that will allow the Town meet its environmental goals. The plan serves to protect and enhance the natural environment, promote environmental sustainability, integrity and conservation of resources and create a practice of environmental stewardship within the community. 

 Fiver-Year Action Plans and Annual Progress Reports

 

Aurora’s Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (ECDMP)
The Town completed a 5-year plan in the summer 2019 that focuses on energy conservation at Town’s owned facilities and fleet vehicles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16% by 2023. The Town has a reduction target of 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This includes the Town Hall, community centres, library and other facilities that the Town owns and operates. Fleet vehicles include over 250 vehicles, heavy and light equipment for all operational divisions. In addition, the Town has been annually monitoring its energy consumption and GHG emissions since 2011. Plan progress can be found under the CEAP annual progress reports under “Energy and Climate Change.” 

 Annual Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions Report (two year lag as per O. Reg. 507/18)

Electric vehicle charging stations
Electric Vehicle parking sign

The Town of Aurora has three publicly-accessible Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. EV drivers will be able to ‘fill-up' their vehicles at these stations, free of charge. The Town approved the Electric Vehicle Charging Station policy at Town properties 

UPDATE: Town Hall and ACC Chargers out of Order due to unit replacement. Construction to be completed in Fall 2021. The 4 level one chargers at the JOC continue to be operational.

 

Station 1: Aurora Town Hall, 100 John West Way, Aurora, ON

UPDATE: Town Hall Charger out of Order due to unit replacement. Construction to be completed Fall 2021

  • Hours: Use of the Electronic Vehicle chargers are free to the public between the hours of 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.

  • Description: One Level 2 charger 

Station 2: Aurora Community Centre, 1 Community Centre Lane

UPDATE: ACC Charger out of Order due to unit replacement. Construction to be completed Fall 2021

  • Hours: Use of the Electronic Vehicle chargers are free to the public between the hours of 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Description: One Level 2 charger 

Station 3: Joint Operations Centre, 229 Industrial Parkway North

  • Hours: Use of the Electronic Vehicle chargers are free to the public between the hours of 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Description: Four Level 1 chargers

For more information, please contact 905-727-3123 Ext. 4382

LEED® Design at Town Facilities
All new facilities owned by the Town are being built to the LEED® standard (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It is an internationally recognized green building certification system. It ensures that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving environmental performance: energy savings, water efficiency, GHG emission reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, etc.

The Joint Operations Centre (JOC) received a LEED® Gold Standard.

Partners for Climate Protection
The Town is a member of the PCP program and is looking to fulfil the programs five-milestone framework. The Milestones include: completing a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory and forecast, setting a GHG reduction target, developing a local action plan, implementing the plan, and monitoring progress and reporting results. 

The Town achieved PCP Milestones 1 to 3 through the development of Aurora’s Community Energy Plan (CEP), endorsed by Council in January 2021. Developed in collaboration with a Stakeholder Working Group and feedback from the public, Aurora’s plan is progressive and wide reaching. The CEP outlines a series of strategies that achieve a 22 per cent reduction of community-level greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 2018 levels and a 65 per cent reduction by 2050. These levels put Aurora on the path towards an 80 per cent emissions reduction by 2050. For more information visit, the Town's Community Energy Plan.

Mayor’s Energy Challenge: Ontario's Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) for Aurora Businesses
The Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) program requires owners of large commercial, industrial, multi-unit residential and other prescribed types to report their building's energy and water consumption data to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

It allows building owners to benchmark their building's energy and water consumption usage against industry trends, identify energy and water efficiency opportunities, and save money by tracking usage.Benefits of benchmarking your building’s energy and water include the ability to:

  • Reduce operating costs over the long term

  • Establish a baseline for measuring improvement in consumption

  • Set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Improve energy and water conservation awareness among building owners, tenants and visitors

  • Participate in green building certificate programs and other sustainability initiatives

Find more information on who needs to report and how to report it.

Important EWRB Updates 

For the 2020 reporting year, the Government of Ontario will accept the submission of data to the EWRB initiative until October 1, 2020. 

Please note that the ministry has amended O. Reg. 506/18 to delay the roll-out of the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking initiative to buildings between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet until 2023, allowing three additional years for small building owners to prepare for reporting their energy and water usage data.

Help with Reporting 

ENDM website has a reporting checklist and guide available for more information.

For more information on how to report your buildings energy and water consumption, visit Guide to Energy and Water Reporting.

You can update your building’s reporting lead contact information on the website.

Contact

You can learn more about the regulation by visiting Province of Ontario's Energy and Water Reporting Benchmarking. If you require further assistance support is provided by:

Mayor's Energy Challenge
Mayors Energy Challenge logo with green and black with words that say Mayors Energy Challenge

 

Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) program is designed to help building owners and managers make decisions on how to improve their building’s efficiency. You can take part in the EWRB program if you own or manage commercial, industrial or multi-unit residential buildings over 50,000 square feet. Benefits of benchmarking your building’s energy and water include the ability to:

  • Establish a baseline for measuring improvement in consumption.
  • Set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reduce operating costs over the long term.
  • Improve energy and water conservation awareness among building owners, tenants and visitors.
  • Participate in green building certificate programs and other sustainability initiatives.

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy Northern Development and Mines will distribute program instructions via mail in early 2020.


Important EWRB Updates

For the 2020 reporting year, the Government of Ontario will accept the submission of data to the EWRB initiative until October 1, 2020.

Please note that the ministry has amended O. Reg. 506/18 to delay the roll-out of the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking initiative to buildings between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet until 2023, allowing three additional years for small building owners to prepare for reporting their energy and water usage data.

Help with Reporting

ENDM website has a reporting checklist and guide.

For more information on how to report your buildings energy and water consumption,  visit Guide to Energy and Water ReportingClick here to update your building’s reporting lead contact information.

Contact

You can learn more about the regulation by visiting Province of Ontario's Energy and Water Reporting Benchmarking. if you require further assistance support is provided by:


 Reference

Municipal Building Challenge

 

ClimateWise

 

Aurora has joined the ClimateWise Building Challenge to take action on climate change. This friendly competitive amongst other York Region municipalities and local businesses supports the implementation of the Town’s corporate energy plan and its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 from 2018 levels. 60 municipal buildings and 15 commercial buildings have joined this friendly award and recognition competition.

Under the challenge, Aurora staff meet regularly with other local municipal staff, share building operations best practices, learn from each other and receive training on new tools available to help reduce energy consumption from municipal operations. 

The ClimateWise Building Challenge is a York Region wide, friendly awards and recognition competition created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve building energy efficiency through collaboration, education, and innovation.

This free initiative is open to building owners, property managers, and tenants who want to take climate action. Recognition and achievements will be presented throughout the competition at a regional level. As a Regional Ally of BOMA Toronto, participants of the ClimateWise Challenge   can also be recognized provincially at the BOMA Toronto Commercial Real Estate Trailblazers (CREST) awards.

The ClimateWise Challenge is modelled after the successful Energy Star Battle of the Building competition, a U.S Environmental Protection Agency program. Learn more about the ClimateWise Challenge by visiting the F.A.Q. page https://windfallcentre.ca/climatewise-challenge/faqs/   

Solar PV systems at Town Facilities
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed at a total of four Town facilities as a means of renewable generation and reducing the Town’s carbon footprint. Agreements are in place using the Microfit, Net Metering and lease agreement models.

Solar PV generation summary:

  • Aurora Town Hall: 10 kW

  • Aurora Public Library: 10 kW

  • Joint Operations Centre (JOC): 36 kW

  • Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex (SARC): 500 kW

Annual electricity generation from all sites from 2014 to 2018:

Annual Electricity graph for Aurora facilities from 2014 to 2018

Green Initiatives Reserve Fund
The Green Initiatives Reserve Fund was established to receive and hold donations or budgetary contributions for purposes of funding or lending funding for projects or initiatives which further the objectives or support the strategic directions of the Town’s Corporate Environmental Action Plan as amended from time to time.

Council may direct that portions of revenues or saving arising from certain projects are to be contributed to the Reserve Fund. Balances in the Fund are planned for specific projects recommended to or by Council during the annual budget process, or other times throughout the year, having consulted with the Environmental Advisory Committee.

The Green Initiatives Reserve Fund was established in September of 2012.

Landowner Environmental Assistance Program 
plant in the water with a frog jumping out the side

The Landowner Environmental Assistance Program (LEAP) aims at improving water quality and wildlife habitat within the Lake Simcoe watershed. This is accomplished by providing landowners with confidential and free site visits, technical advice and funding assistance for environmental projects on their land. 

LEAP is administered by Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) and made possible by funding from municipal partners and the support of the York, Durham, and Simcoe chapters of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

For more information please visit the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority website to contact your local Stewardship Technician.