Climate Change Action

Climate Action Plan

The effects of climate change are already apparent in Canmore. In response to our shifting climate, we are doing our part to reduce our impact and prepare for the future. We have a Climate Action Plan to define targets and identify a suite of actions to achieve these targets in alignment with requirements of the Global Covenant of Mayors.

Highlights of the Plan:

  • By 2030, the community of Canmore will reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 2015 levels.
  • By 2050, the Town will reduce community and Corporate emissions by 80% below 2015 levels.

View the Climate Action Plan                         View the GHG Report

Municipal Climate Change Actions

Environmental sustainability has been a focus of the Town of Canmore for the past decade. Several Councils approved plans and initiating action to address environmental sustainability and climate change. Our actions and initiatives include:

  • Approving the 2018 Climate Action Plan, 2016 Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan and 2010 Environmental Sustainability Action Plan (revised in 2013),
  • Building LEED certified buildings,
  • Partnering with the Town of Banff and ID9 to operate local and regional ROAM transit and providing fare-free local transit in Canmore,
  • Putting in place sustainable building requirements,
  • Conducting energy efficiency audits of our facilities,
  • Implementing cycling and pedestrian improvements to shift mode share,
  • Approving solar installations for Town facilities,
  • Implementing a community wide organics composting program,
  • Increasing our in-house resources from one part time sustainability coordinator to two full-time staff focused on sustainability and climate action

Solar Installations on Municipal Buildings

2023 Statistics for All Buildings

  • Total Number of Panels: 2,926
  • Total Solar Electricity Produced: 972,307 kWh
  • Total Greenhouse Gases % Offset: 46%
  • Total Dollars Saved: $86,179
  • Commissioning Date: June 2017 
  • Number of Panels: 192 panels (340 kWh each)
  • Maximum Output: 65.28 kWh DC
  • 2023 statistics:
    • Solar Electricity Produced: 62,862 kWh
    • Electricity Offset By Solar: 27%
    • Dollars Saved: $4,431
    • Greenhouse Gas Reduction: 26%  

View the Live System Data.

  • Commissioning Date: phase 1: July 2018, phase 2: November 2020 
  • Number of Panels: 472 panels (340/400 kWh each)
  • Maximum Output: 172.94 kWh DC
  • 2023 statistics:
    • Solar Electricity Produced: 143,634 kWh
    • Building Electricity Offset By Solar: 157%
    • Dollars Saved: $8,297
    • Greenhouse Gas Reduction: 84% 

View the Live System Data

  • Commissioning Date: September 2020 
  • Number of Panels: 931 panels (400 kWh each)
  • Maximum Output: 372.4 kWh DC
  • 2023 statistics:
    • Solar Electricity Produced: 284,044 kWh
    • Electricity Offset By Solar: 24%
    • Dollars Saved: $21,609
    • Greenhouse Gas Reduction: 23% 

View the Live System Data

  • Commissioning Date: September 2021 
  • Number of Panels: 1325 panels (450 kWh each)
  • Maximum Output: 400.5 kWh DC
  • 2023 statistics:
    • Solar Electricity Produced: 480,634 kWh
    • Electricity Offset By Solar: 84%
    • Dollars Saved: $51,762
    • Greenhouse Gas Reduction: 36%  

Canmore Rooftop Solar Report

In an effort to increase awareness and understanding of Canmore’s potential to generate solar energy, the Town commissioned a study to evaluate the solar potential of the community.

  1. Solar Potential in Canmore: If solar was adopted on every building in town approximately 42,000 MWh/yr of electricity generation would be produced. Annually this is equivalent of taking 8,600 vehicles off the road and would reduce greenhouse gasses by over 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

  2. Residents have a significant role to play: 75% of the community is zoned for residential development, so the citizens of Canmore truly have the ability to make a difference, and could offset approximately 64% of their electricity use with solar.

  3. Rooftop Geometry and Design Verses Valley Location: Roof top geometry and roof design have significantly more impact on solar potential than location within the valley - that is, the design of the roof of the house is typically more important than the location of the house. The impact of mountain shading is not as significant as one would think.

  4. Canmore Solar Potential Versus Other Areas with High Solar Uptake: Neighbourhoods in the northeast (Silvertip) tend to have better solar production potential, and this gradually lessens as you travel toward the southwest of Canmore (Peaks of Grassi). However southern Alberta, including Canmore, has higher solar insolation (W/m2) than the capital cities of Germany and China (the countries with the most installed solar capacity worldwide). Even Canmore's least productive neighbourhoods still have relatively high potential.

  5. New Development: New development presents a one-time opportunity to harness solar energy efficiently. The most efficient way to utilize rooftop solar energy is to design rooftops to accommodate solar arrays that have southern exposure, are somewhat flat with minimal dormers, and have continuous roof space with minimal penetrations or chimneys. Building new homes that incorporate best practices for solar design is relatively inexpensive and enables homeowners to optimize this valuable resource for the life of their home.  

Climate Change Adaptation

The Town of Canmore is taking steps to address climate change and ensure Canmore is safe, prosperous, and resilient in the future by developing a Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan. While the Environmental Sustainability Action Plan focuses on mitigation efforts to tackle the causes of climate change, the adaptation plan tackles the effects.

Climate projections for the Bow Valley point towards increases in temperature and changing precipitation patterns. Projected changes in average temperature and precipitation for the Bow Valley will have broad consequences across the natural environment, including the size of our glaciers, winter snowpack, streamflow, wildfires and forest pests, and regional ecosystems.

Projected climate and environmental changes could have numerous impacts on Canmore, with consequences for municipal infrastructure and services, private property, the local economy and environment, and the health and lifestyle of citizens. In anticipation of the potential risks and opportunities presented by these changes, the Town of Canmore has developed a Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan.

View the Climate Adaptation Report and Resilience Plan.