STRATEGY 8

Monitor & Report

Monitor and report on CEP implementation

Based on research from the GTI initiative, 90 percent of CEPs contain an energy and emissions reduction target, yet more than 20 percent of communities lack a structure to monitor progress toward their targets.46 Further, less than half of communities with a CEP have conducted a follow-up energy and GHG emissions inventory once their CEP was adopted to track the progress of implementation. Communities that do not monitor and report on progress may fail to secure long-term support and resources needed to implement a CEP.47

Monitoring and reporting on implementation can unlock significant opportunities to build ongoing support among elected officials, staff and community stakeholders. Precise, measurable and defensible data, when presented on an ongoing basis, can increase the overall confidence and support of senior decision makers. When the CEP is monitored on an annual basis, successes can be celebrated which can in turn help build further support for implementation. The data can also provide frequent feedback loops to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as possible course corrections, if applicable.

Measuring Primary and Secondary Key Performance Indicators

CEPs typically contain primary and secondary Key Performance Indicators.

Primary Key Performance Indicators: Energy End Use and GHG Emissions

 

Secondary Key Performance Indicators: Other Key Performance Indicators

 

Table 12 illustrates the steps to consider for developing, monitoring and reporting on energy and GHG targets and other Key Performance Indicators.

Table 12: Steps and Considerations for Monitoring and Reporting CEP Implementation

Step Considerations
Identify Key Performance Indicators to monitor the impacts of the CEP
  • In some cases a community may have existing Key Performance Indicators that can be used as a basis for the CEP indicators. For example, if applicable, there may be indicators in an existing CEP, Integrated Community Sustainability Plans or other community plans
  • Key Performance Indicators should be reviewed and/or selected with the following considerations in mind:
    • They should be measurable – the data should be available
    • They should require a reasonable level of effort to track
    • They should be cost-effective to track
  • Key Performance Indicators should be chosen by all staff involved in the CEP, and particularly in collaboration those that will be responsible for monitoring the indicators
Determine a rigorous and consistent methodology for measuring progress  
  • A consistent methodology can be of particular concern for primary indicators, as a range of methodologies can be used to create an energy / emissions inventory. Inventories should be consistent with the methodology used for the baseline inventory (or at least the inventories should be adjusted to be consistent with each other)
  • If rigorous data is difficult to obtain try developing assumptions. Be explicit about any assumptions made in the monitoring and reporting process  
Determine the frequency of monitoring Key Performance Indicators
  • Obtain data for energy, GHG emissions and other Key Performance Indicators annually, or as frequently as otherwise possible
  • The process of monitoring Key Performance Indicators should be embedded into the work plans of staff
  • All data being monitored by staff across the local government should be submitted to the CEP project manager and reported on annually  
  • Re-evaluate Key Performance Indicators every 1-5 years to ensure that they are still relevant
Determine the frequency of implementation progress reports 
Highlight successes!
  • A progress report should be sent to elected officials, local government staff and community stakeholders. It should also be made publicly available.
  • Communicate successes at council, staff and stakeholder meetings as well as public events
  • If possible, develop visually compelling materials to communicate implementation highlights
Don’t forget to include success stories from community stakeholders
  • The reporting of CEP implementation successes, even small ones, can help to build support for CEP implementation and create the conditions for investments in future implementation  
  • Don’t forget to invite community stakeholder to provide success stories – either measurable progress or anecdotes – to include in the annual report. See Strategy 7: Engage Community Stakeholders and Recognize their Implementation Progress

Follow-up Energy and GHG Inventories in Small Communities

Annual energy and GHG inventories can be expensive to conduct and may, in some cases, illustrate only incremental changes with respect to energy end use and emissions in a community. As a result, small communities should consider developing inventories at longer intervals (e.g. bi-annually, or every five years). In the interim, communities can focus on monitoring and reporting on secondary indicators, which are often less expensive and easier to monitor, and which can still indicate implementation progress.

Insights on Measuring Implementation

GTI research has identified that there are many ways to measure CEP implementation. Some approaches include:

  • Measuring reductions in community-wide energy or GHG emissions: If energy and GHGs are falling in a community, the CEP is effectively being implemented. Note that federal, provincial/territorial policies, economic transitions and other external factors often play a role in overall GHG emissions
  • Measuring secondary Key Performance Indicators: The effectiveness of a CEP can be measured by the extent to which secondary Key Performance Indicators are achieved. Secondary indicators include indicators that are related to overall energy consumption (e.g. reduction in energy spending, number of jobs created, reduction in vehicle kilometers traveled, shifts in mode splits, energy efficiency retrofits, or increased waste diversion rates)
  • Tracking the number of actions completed in a CEP: While this is a rudimentary approach to measuring the impacts of implementation, it can signal the extent to which local government processes are supportive of implementation
  • Assessing Implementation Readiness: The Community Energy Implementation Readiness Survey enables a community to assess the extent to which conditions are in place to support ongoing implementation

Case Studies

Case Study 16

Monitoring and Reporting on Implementation Progress in the City of Guelph, Ontario

CEP reporting is coordinated annually by the Community Energy division of the Business Development and Enterprise department, and presented to the Corporate Administration, Finance & Enterprise Committee (this Committee is appointed by Council and made up of Councillors). A dashboard is used to display progress within eight key activity categories, plus a description of the status for each individual activity.

See the Guelph Community Energy Plan here.

Case Study 17

Monitoring and Reporting on CEP Implementation in the City of London, Ontario

The City of London Community Energy Action Plan (CEAP) was adopted in 2014. Alongside the plan, the City of London developed a background document describing a methodology for monitoring and reporting on community energy use. The background document describes a methodology for developing annual energy and emissions inventories. The document describes how the City of London will also work with stakeholders to develop new Key Performance Indicators, including economic, transportation, and energy performance indicators. The results from energy and emissions inventories, and other Key Performance Indicators will be included in an annual progress report outlining implementation progress of the CEAP.90