Community Energy and Emissions Inventory:
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a community energy and emissions inventory?
- How is a community inventory different from a corporate one?
- How does this report relate to other B.C. government initiatives involving GHG reporting, such as the Provincial Inventory Report?
- Why is the Province developing CEEI?
- How have local governments been involved in CEEI development to-date?
- Where does my community CEEI report fit in?
- How accurate is the data provided through CEEI?
- My community has done an inventory that differs from CEEI. Why is that?
- Does CEEI replace other community greenhouse gas inventories?
- Under the Climate Action Charter, local governments will be offsetting corporate emissions to zero. Will those emissions (before offsetting) be included in the CEEI?
- What is different about the '2010 CEEI reports' than the previous '2007 CEEI reports'?
1. What is a community energy and emissions inventory?
- A community energy and emissions inventory (CEEI) is an estimate of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within a community over one year. The core of these inventories are high level estimates of community energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from on-road transportation, buildings and solid waste.
- The CEEI Technical Methods and Guidance Document explains the data sources, emission factors and methodologies used, as well as some of the limitations with the present reports.
- The CEEI reports are the first of their kind in North America. Following the 2007 CEEI reports, the next round will be for 2010 and then every two years going forward.
2. How is a community inventory different from a corporate one?
- A community inventory includes estimates of energy use and GHG emissions within the jurisdictional area of a local government (‘geopolitical boundary’).
- A corporate or 'local government operations' inventory typically includes only those emissions that are under the operational and/or financial control of the local government itself (e.g., civic buildings, civic fleets). The Joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee's Workbook - Helping Local Governments Understand How to be Carbon Neutral in Their Corporate Operations is intended to support the development of local government inventories as they work towards becoming carbon neutral in their own corporate operations.
3. How does this report relate to other B.C. government initiatives involving GHG reporting such as the Provincial Inventory Report?
- The Community Energy Emissions Inventory provides detailed GHG estimates for buildings, transportation and solid waste for each municipality and regional district within B.C.
- The Provincial Inventory Report provides a comprehensive picture of provincial greenhouse gas emissions (including the provincial 2007 baseline) and significant emission factor and definition guidance for related provincial greenhouse gas inventory and reduction initiatives.
- Other initiatives provide detailed GHG estimates for components of the B.C. economy to address specific legal, policy or financial objectives that may have differing data, analysis and communications needs.
4. Why is the Province developing CEEI?
- CEEI’s are intended to support local governments in at least one of three ways:
1. to fulfill the second of three commitments of the Climate Action Charter: “measuring and reporting on their community’s GHG emissions profile”;
2. to provide an ongoing resource to help inform targets, policies, actions related to the new Green Communities Legislation; and as an additional benefit,
3. to support BC members of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Partners in Climate Protection (PCP) program to achieve Milestone One (community inventory).
- Also, by developing a province-wide database, the Province is not only reducing the burden on local governments to develop such inventories, but also on data providers for accommodating many one-off data requests.
- CEEI provides a consistent province-wide reporting approach for all local governments that also supports broader provincial greenhouse gas objectives.
- As CEEI reporting continues, local governments will be able to track their progress, begin to make meaningful comparisons with other B.C. communities, and view that progress within the context of their own broader community energy and emissions, or higher level, plans.
5. How have local governments been involved in CEEI development to-date?
- Over 20 communities received preliminary 2005 CEEI reports. Their feedback has also helped to improve the 2007 CEEI Reports.
- In 2007, 32 per cent of BC local governments responded to a User Needs survey. In spring 2009, a follow up survey helped to guide further development of the Updated 2007 CEEI Reports. Another survey in summer 2010 helped to guide further refinements for the 2010 reports.
- The Green Communities Performance Measurement Technical Working Group is led by the Ministry of Community and Rural Development, and is made up of local government representatives from across the Province. Their involvement in establishing the CEEI supporting indicators has been invaluable.
6. Where does my community CEEI report ‘fit in’?
- CEEIs can be an invaluable tool in any community energy and emissions planning process, let alone part of any broader sustainability or smart planning process. For more information on inventories and their role in community energy and emissions planning, see the Community Energy & Emissions Planning: A Guide for BC Local Governments.
- As part of its commitment to support local government in pursuing the goals identified under the Climate Action Charter, the Province is working to provide local governments with additional tools and information they need to support provincial GHG reduction goals and become Green Communities. The second of the three commitments within the Climate Action Charter is for each signatory local government to measure and report on their community’s GHG emissions profile. Each community’s energy and emissions inventory (CEEI) performs that function.
- Providing a high-level profile of a community’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can also help to inform a local government’s as it develops its greenhouse gas targets, policies and actions, as required under the Local Government Act as guided by the Ministry of Community and Rural Development.
7. How accurate is the data provided through CEEI?
- As with most inventories, the level of accuracy depends highly on the completeness of the data sources and consistency in the methodologies applied. See the CEEI Technical Methods and Guidance Document for more information on accuracy and other related technical issues.
- The CEEI Working Group will continue to work to improve data accuracy. As data improves, past reports will be updated and re-posted in order to provide a consistent method of comparison over time.
8. My community has done an inventory that differs from CEEI. Why is that?
9. Does CEEI replace other community greenhouse gas inventories?
- No, at least not in the short term. CEEI reports are a service to BC communities.
- There are some local governments around the Province where such inventories already exist or where there is sufficient in-house capacity and other localized information for those local governments to either generate their own inventory or expand on their CEEI report.
- The CEEI Working Group is committed to full transparency and explanation of the methods used to create the CEEI reports. We can work with specific local governments to attempt to explain the different methods used and the resulting implications on the emissions estimates for those communities that have current or past inventories separate from the CEEI.
10. Under the Climate Action Charter local governments will be offsetting corporate emissions to zero. Will those emissions (before offsetting) be included in the CEEI?
- Yes. Though while local governments’ own corporate emissions are included in CEEIs, the CEEI does not profile these separately, nor do CEEIs account for the purchase or sale of the related offsets.
11. What is different about the '2010 CEEI reports' than the previous '2007 CEEI reports'?
- The 2010 CEEI reports reflect a variety of improvements to the information, including more accurate emissions estimates for the core sectors of transportation, buildings and solid waste. The 2007 estimates have also been recalculated anywhere that methodologies have changed in order to provide a consistent method of comparison over time.
For more information, contact the Climate Action Secretariat (Ben Clark: 250 387-5867 or Ted Sheldon: 250 387-1359) or Enerficiency Consulting (Michael Wilson: 604 886-9864).