Energy consumption report: Mapleton not meeting its reduction targets

MAPLETON – The township has not met its two per cent energy consumption reduction goal this year, council was told on Sept. 10.

A report presented to council compared energy consumption and gas emissions within municipal operations and recommended council approve changes to the township’s approach to analysis and recording.

Energy Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Plans are required under a provincial policy enacted in 2018 that also mandates annual reports on energy consumption and gas emissions.

Public agencies are also required to establish five-year targets and energy saving plans for the period of 2020 to 2025.

“Our overall target is to reduce consumption of all municipal operations by an average of 2% per year between 2012 and 2020,” the report states.

Mapleton’s recent CDM plan, prepared by financial analyst Heather Trottier, compared energy consumption and gas emissions from 2012 with the 2017-18 fiscal year.

According to the report, the township did not reach its goal last year because of an increase in “street light contracts and water pumping for utilities.”

Those factors resulted in an 8% increase in the total electricity consumption, measured in kilowatt hours.


However, there are already energy saving projects lined up that, according to the report, should help the township realize a decrease this year and next.

“We have three energy savings projects in 2019 and one in 2020. These projects combined will save an estimated 52,654 kWh per year. This is only 1.56% of our total kilowatt hours,” Trottier wrote in the report.

The report also found a decrease in electricity consumption in the township’s corporate facilities of 3.6% for 2017-18.


Conversely, the report found the township’s natural gas emission during that year increased 7.4%.

Yet Trottier wrote in the report the findings on natural gas emissions may not offer a full picture.

“This is due to meter reading timing in 2017 and an increase in usage in the Alma Community Centre. If readings are not done at consistent intervals this tends to alter the results,” the report states.

Trottier added council should expect to see water pumping increase to accommodate the new splash pad installed last year.

“As there will be growth in both these areas in the next few years, a 2% reduction may not be a realistic goal in these categories,” the report states.


The CDM Plan was introduced in 2018, by  the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, through a new policy under the Electricity Act.

In July, council approved  using 2012 as a base year comparison as it was used previously for the township’s own Energy Conservation Plan for the years 2014 to 2019.

“This initial energy plan … saw significant reductions in electricity consumption when comparing 2017 to the base year of 2012 and had an overall reduction in natural gas,” a report from July stated.

Moving forward

To help reach its 2% goal, the report suggested changes to council’s approach to recording and analyzing its energy consumption.

“Due to the anticipated growth of our community, we may want to revise our goal to exclude water, wastewater and street lighting unless we can find areas for reductions within these groups,” Trottier stated in the report.

“I would also recommend that we change our base year to 2017 as the facility square footage is unchanged in this time frame.

“This gives us a better basis for comparison.”

On Sept. 10 council approved the recommendations outlined by the report.

“I think that is a really great recommendation that we compare the facilities that we know are consistent day to day; and (for) wastewater and street lighting …of course our costs are going to go up,” said councillor Paul Douglas.

Finance director John Morrison, who reviewed the report before it was presented to council, emphasized its importance.

“This report will come every year and we will continue to see your energy consumptions in total, as well so we will revise the matrix just to look at the facilities,” said Morrison.

“It’s important to understand our footprint and it will be important to understand how it is costing us, so we will use it as a budget tool going forward.”

Morrison also recognized Trottier’s hard work putting the report together.

“Heather does an awful lot of work to compile this and to make it simple to understand. You should see the detail it has to go through,” he said.