STRATEGY 5

Engage Staff

Engage staff across the local government. Identify staff champions and embed the CEP into staff job descriptions

CEPs cross many departmental boundaries and consequently require early and ongoing inter-departmental coordination and collaboration. The following non-exhaustive list of local government departments should be involved in the development and implementation of the CEP.

  • Land use planning
  • Transportation
  • Economic development
  • Finance
  • Chief Administrative Officer
  • Engineering/public works
  • Public health
  • Environment/sustainability
  • Communications
  • Global Information Systems
  • Others as needed

Engagement should take place at the senior management and junior/intermediate staff level. Table 8 provides a snapshot of how some of the actions within a CEP relate to various departments. This is intended to act as a starting point for determining which aspects of the CEP are relevant for which departments.

Table 8: Local Government Department Roles in CEP Implementation

Table 8: Local Government Department Roles in CEP Implementation

Engaging Senior Management from All Departments

Consider the following GTI Advice on how to engage with senior staff.

Who to engage When to engage them
  • Senior managers of the above-listed departments
  • At all stages of CEP development and implementation
Why engage them How to engage them and what to focus on
  • To foster a network of internal staff champions across local government
  • To assess existing work plans and resources available for implementation
  • To identify existing or potential actions for implementation and to identify opportunities to integrate plans and actions
  • To obtain support to embed the CEP into staff work plans
  • Brief introductory presentations to senior management as a group to discuss community energy planning, how it relates to their roles and can help achieve their objective
  • Follow up meetings to discuss possible courses of action (e.g. delegating CEP actions to departmental staff, identifying who will monitor Key Performance Indicators and the level of effort required for both)
  • Present the CEP action plan as an opportunity for new and exciting experiences for staff
  • Set up meetings close to CEP adoption to develop staff work plans
  • Semi-annual or annual meetings with the core CEP project manager or team to review implementation progress and to establish course corrections if required

Engaging Other Departments including but not limited to Planning, Transportation, GIS, Public Works and Parks and Recreation

Consider the following GTI Advice on how to engage with staff within the local government.

Who to engage When to engage them
  • Staff from the above-listed departments that will be involved in project and program implementation
  • At all stages of CEP development and implementation
Why engage them How to engage them
  • Staff from the identified departments will be key partners on implementation as many will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of projects and/or programs as well as providing data to report on Key Performance Indicators. It is critical that these staff members know about the CEP, what value it brings to the community and how it relates to their roles
  • Set up informational group meetings (e.g. lunch and learns) to inform staff about the CEP, to describe how it relates to their roles, and to answer questions
  • Set up meetings with staff responsible for collecting data that pertains to the Key Performance Indicators to review the availability of the data and to assess the level of effort required to collect and send the information to a central staff person
  • Set up meetings closer to CEP adoption, along with senior managers to whom they report, to finalize staff work plans
  • Establish an internal staff meeting structure to meet bi-annually or annually to review work plans, implementation progress and to establish course corrections if needed

Engaging the Finance Department

Consider the following GTI Advice on how to engage with staff within the finance department.

Who to engage When to engage them
  • Senior management and/or staff from the finance department
  • Before and during CEP development
  • On an ongoing basis as-needed during CEP implementation
  • Consider budget cycles
Why engage them How to engage them
  • To discuss internal and external funding opportunities to support the four primary costs associated with CEP development and implementation:33
    • Staffing costs
    • Consultant costs
    • Infrastructure capital, operations and maintenance costs
    • Program costs
  • The finance department may have access to corporate energy data that can provide insights on progress the local government is making on implementation.
  • The finance may collaborate on seeking innovative approaches for funding implementation
  • Set up one-on-one meetings before the CEP is presented to council to discuss:
    • How much funding will be required annually to support CEP implementation costs?
    • How much revenue or savings will be generated as a result of energy projects and programs?
    • What local government funds are available to support the identified costs?
    • What external grants are available to support the identified costs?
    • Is there a need or opportunity to change the terms on existing internal funding sources to better support CEP implementation?
  • Determine what, if any, financial information can provide insights into CEP implementation progress (e.g. increases in energy savings)35
  • Schedule recurring meetings as needed to ensure that you are prepared to present to council a plan and funding strategy that is feasible

Embed the CEP into Staff Job Descriptions

Once staff across the municipality are engaged, amend existing and new job descriptions to include CEP considerations.

Include tasks for all positions responsible for implementing local government plans, including department heads in the above-listed departments. While the level of responsibility and tasks will vary according to the position, consider the following language as a starting point:

“The incumbent performs a variety of routine and complex technical work … including supporting the development and implementation of the Community Energy Plan.”

Case Studies

Case Study 1

CEP Renewal in the City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

The City of Yellowknife adopted a CEP in 2006. With a target year of 2014, Yellowknife aimed to reduce its corporate GHG emissions by 20 per cent and its community GHG emissions 6 per cent, based on 2004 levels. It budgeted $500,000 annually for energy efficiency, renewable energy conversions and public awareness. By February 2013, the City surpassed its target and the projects implemented now save the City an estimated $528,000 per year.76 One of the last steps initiated during the implementation of the CEP was the adoption of a renewal process for the plan. This renewal process included the development of a strategy for public and community stakeholder engagement to support the creation of a CEP for 2015-2025. Yellowknife has since embarked on a process where a new assessment of the Community’s GHG emissions will be completed and new targets will be established.

    Case Study 6

    Establishing a Committee of Council in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

    The Community Energy Planning Committee was established by City Council on September 10, 2007, following the completion of the Community Energy Plan (CEP).79 The Committee is chaired by the Mayor and includes representatives from across the Community. The primary purpose of the Committee is to assist the City of Yellowknife in an advisory capacity to ensure the CEP is implemented and evolves in an effective manner. The scope of the Committee is to report and make recommendations to City Council through the appropriate standing Committee of Council on the progress and direction of the CEP implementation.80

    Case Study 7

    Establishing a Governance Framework for Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy, Edmonton, Alberta

    Edmonton City Council formed an Energy Transition Advisory Committee.81 Committee members serve two year terms and sets out to encourage and promote the strategy, provide advice to Council regarding the implementation of the strategy and assist Council in developing performance measures.

    Case Study 12

    City of Yellowknife Community Energy Plan Communications Plan, Northwest Territories

    The City of Yellowknife Community Energy Plan Communications Plan describes a detailed approach for engaging with the public.86 At the core of the plan, there is a recognition that in order to reduce GHG emissions across the community, Yellowknife residents and businesses must change current energy use practices. This requires a shift in awareness, attitudes and behaviour with respect to GHG emissions. The overall communication goal of the plan is to inform Yellowknife residents of changes that the City of Yellowknife will make and to implement communication programs that encourage ongoing reductions in Yellowknife GHG emissions.