Efficiency Canada’s submission to the Town of Whitby

Proposed Whitby Green Standard (WGS)

June 2, 2020

Policy Work | Submissions

June 2nd, 2020
Mayor Don Mitchell and Council
Town of Whitby
575 Rossland Rd E, Whitby, ON
L1N 2M8 

Dear Mayor and Council:  

Re: Proposed Whitby Green Standard (WGS) 

We are writing to you in support of the proposed changes to the Town of Whitby’s planning process that will introduce Green Development Standards (GDS) to encourage the uptake of energy efficiency and environmental performance measures that lead to the increased sustainability of new developments.

Efficiency Canada is the national voice for an energy efficient economy. Our mission is to create a sustainable environment and better life for all Canadians by making our country a global leader in energy efficiency policy, technology, and jobs. We conduct rigorous policy analysis, communicate compelling narratives, and convene and mobilize Canada’s dynamic energy efficiency sector. Efficiency Canada is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.

We applaud the Town of Whitby’s efforts to join leading municipalities such as Toronto, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Halton, and Brampton in the use of green development checklists and/or incentives such as development fee rebates to reach their sustainability objectives.

The incentives offered under the WGS to develop energy efficient buildings will help increase capacity and knowledge sharing in the region’s buildings sector, activate local employment and accelerate long-term market transformation. The Town of Whitby’s proposed WGS will also help to offset the common but misplaced perception that energy efficiency measures result in increased capital costs while providing an opportunity to create a level playing field for developers seeking to implement higher energy standards.

A commitment to developing complete, healthy, and sustainable communities

As we have previously written to the Government of Canada with regards to the National Model Energy Code for Buildings, we believe that advancing energy efficient, high-performance building standards are not only a core part of our climate action as a nation, but an essential tool for economic recovery that can help stave off the impacts of a potentially deep recession when the COVID-19 health crisis ends. The Town of Whitby has an opportunity to deliver on these two crucial needs to its citizens with the stroke of a pen. 

We believe that the WGS will encourage investments directed towards better performing buildings and immediately bolster the capacity and effectiveness of the municipalities buildings sector workforce. Over the long-term, these investments can also lock-in the structural changes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and directly contribute to the Town of Whitby’s sustainable future.

We support the Town of Whitby in its commitment to developing complete, healthy, and sustainable communities. Sustainable initiatives have a significant influence on the way we design and build our environments. Moreover, the WGS clearly recognizes that sustainability is a holistic pursuit influenced by our relationship with energy and other natural resources and uniquely affects our health, mobility and socio-economic opportunities. The WGS positions the Town of Whitby as a leader in municipal efforts to enhance community resiliency and supports the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Capture immediate and long-run benefits through GDS

With the WGS the Town of Whitby will position itself as a leader in climate change adaptation and resiliency. The WGS represents the Town’s commitment to reaching this end and will help reduce its energy demand and associated emissions. The measures contained within the WGS can provide immediate benefits and, in the future, ensure the Town of Whitby’s buildings are more comfortable, resilient, durable and better able to provide security against future disruptions caused by weather, electricity outages and more. 

We would be pleased to discuss further how the WGS can contribute to employment in the clean-energy economy, stimulate innovative clean technology and help the buildings sector lead Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future. 



Kevin Lockhart
Efficient Buildings Lead, Efficiency Canada



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