Community-scale Energy and GHG Modelling

City of North Vancouver development patterns modelled for 2107 scenario, CNV's 100 year vision.Community-scale energy and emissions modelling (CEEM) is a tool that allows local governments to assess the impact of projected land use changes on future energy use and GHG emissions through different transportation patterns and the built environment.

CEEM provides the bridge between community-wide inventorying (e.g., CEEIs), and setting/rationalizing community GHG reduction targets, as required under the Local Government Act.
Click on each of the three boxes below for an introduction to each topic area.
Find more information about Community Energy and Emissions Inventories (CEEI) Download the 'Modelling 101' slides. Listen to the full June 2011 webinar listed below Click the box for information about GHG Emissions Reduction Targets, Policies and Actions
CEEM enables local governments to understand the GHG and energy implications of future development scenarios in their communities. As such, it guides the development of local government GHG targets, policies and actions in Official Community Plans (OCPs); Regional Growth Strategies (RGSs); Community Energy and Emissions Plans (CEEPs), and Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs).
Local government planners are the key community participants in CEEM efforts. With practitioner support from the private sector, not-for-profits, academia and other levels of government, planners use CEEM to explore the GHG and energy implications of future land use development, and to actively engage their fellow financial and engineering colleagues, gaining insights and priorities from their community constituents and direction from their elected officials.

Modelling Tools Comparison Matrix

There are several approaches to CEEM that utilize a variety of technologies and can cover different sectors and area size. The Province of BC has compiled a comparative snapshot of active models and approaches that practitioners have been using across BC called the Comparison of Community Energy and Emissions Modelling (CEEM) Tools Matrix (the Matrix). The Matrix is available for download here.
The Endnotes on the Matrix provide a short profile of each model, local governments involved to-date and links to additional information. 

The models provided by practitioners vary widely. Some models cover one community while others encompass a number of community sectors (e.g., buildings, transportation and solid waste) or parcel-level to region-wide applications for both small and large communities.

Modelling services can be simple excel spreadsheets and user-friendly guides to sophisticated geospatial models with interconnected land use and transportation policy implications. Resulting recommendations for local governments can range from a small listing of off-the-shelf policies to comprehensive, quantitative, customized reports.

Case Studies and Webcasts

Each case study in the table below describes a distinct community-scale energy and GHG modelling tool highlighting the experience with CEEM of five local governments in British Columbia.

 Community & Purpose

 Tool Used  






Kootenay (RD)


 E2 Tool Sheltair/Stantec  RDCK

Case Study
 RDCK (.wmv)

 RDCK (.mov)



 Numerical Model Jordan Fisher

& Associates

Case Study
 Colwood (.wmv)

 Colwood (.mov)

 Fraser Valley



GHG Proof  Sustainability

Solutions Group

Case Study

 FVRD (.wmv)


 City of North Vancouver

(part 1)

100 Year



Carbon Neutral City   UBC’s 

Design Centre


NV (1)

Case Study

 NV (1) (.wmv)

 NV (1) (.mov)

 City of North Vancouver

(part 2)


Low Carbon Path HB Lanarc NV (2)

Case Study

 NV (2) (.wmv)

 NV (2) (.mov)

 Prince George



PG Case Study

 PG (.wmv)

 PG (.mov)

*Webcasts  in .wmv format are compatible with a Windows PC environment, the .mov format works with a Macintosh platform

Modelling Practitioners Fall 2014 Survey Results

In fall of 2014, a survey was conducted with active BC modelling practitioners. The purpose of the survey was to learn about their experiences in applying their CEEModels in support of communities across BC. The survey provides insights into what are the most useful aspects of CEEM, key lessons learned, biggest barriers and solutions, what are seen to be the most cost-effective policies, as well as data availability and needs. Download the survey here.


Guidance on the Effect of Provincial Climate Policies at a Community-scale: This document is a high-level guide that interprets the potential impacts of a number of provincial climate action policies at the community scale: available from the Modelling Ad Hoc Working Group.
BC Economic Atlas: A spatial analysis tool. Find out more here
Modelling Ad Hoc Working Group Contacts:
Mary Storzer: (250) 356-5515, Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing
The Province of BC and the Fraser Basin Council, would like to acknowledge the cooperation and contributions of those in Colwood, Prince George, North Vancouver City, Regional District of Central Kootenay, Fraser Valley Regional District, Jordan Fisher and Associates, Natural Resources Canada, UBC Design Centre for Sustainability, HB LanarcStantec, and Sustainability Solutions Group in preparing the case studies and webcasts listed above.