Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 16, 2005

Community Energy Planning Topic of Public Session

The University of Guelph, Guelph Hydro, City of Guelph and other local partners are teaming up to promote the concept of community energy planning. The public is encouraged to get involved, starting by attending a lecture and information session Dec. 5 at 7:30 at the River Run Centre.

The guest lecturer is Peter Garforth, a Purdue University professor and consultant known for his success in working with communities, corporations and policy-makers to reduce energy consumption. He will discuss how community energy planning can help reduce the harmful economic and environmental effects of energy use.

“Peter Garforth will be bringing ideas from around the world to Guelph, and there is much we can learn,” said Karen Farbridge, a U of G political science instructor who is co-ordinating the evening lecture and Peter Garforth’s visit to Guelph.

“The ways in which energy is used and delivered have a profound effect on the community at many levels, ranging from pollution and water quality to residential growth and maintaining green spaces,” she said. “Good energy planning is key to addressing such challenges, and with energy prices expected to increase, there is no better time to find bright ideas to save energy and money and to create jobs in our community.”

Garforth, who is based in Ohio and in Belgium, has held senior management roles in major corporations and helped initiate unique energy conservation programs globally. He was the chair of the International Institute for Energy Conservation; co-chair of the International Advisory Committee of the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, D.C.; a founding member of the European Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future; and a member of the Steering Committee on Energy Efficiency Financing of the Russian Federation.

His Dec. 5 public lecture and participation in a campus workshop are being supported through U of G’s Faculty of Environmental Sciences under its new Environmental Science Research Initiative. It supports projects that bring together teams of researchers to address topical issues such as energy and pollution and environmental and human health.

Engineering professor Warren Stiver is serving as the principal investigator. He holds the Chair in Environmental Design Engineering from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, which aims to reduce harmful environmental effects of urban settings, using the Guelph community as a living dynamic design lab. Guelph Hydro Inc. and the City of Guelph are also co-sponsors of the public lecture.

“We are interested in catalysing collaborative research initiatives, and the area of community energy planning offers some exciting possibilities,” said Joe Ackerman, associate dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences.

The energy initiative, which will include the University, Guelph Hydro, City of Guelph, and other interested entities, was one of three projects chosen this fall for inaugural funding, Ackerman said. The project aims to promote collaborative research, additional workshops and other community-based efforts.

For more information on the public lecture or community energy planning, contact Farbridge at (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56641 or

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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