About – The Illustrated Guide to Community Energy

Exploring the sustainable energy potential of your neighbourhood

Imagine a neighbourhood where our homes generate more energy than they use.

What if Metro Vancouver used sustainable regional renewable energy resources instead of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming?

Imagine neighbours working together to share skills, improve energy efficiency, & reduce energy costs through neighbourhood retrofits.

With clear and compelling visuals of Metro Vancouver case studies, and new information on regional and
local energy resources, the Guide aims to inform citizens about potentially unfamiliar renewable energy technologies, and to stimulate discussion about the energy choices available to them.

This site has been developed to enable greater accessibility to the contents of the print version of the guide. It shows how local involvement in community energy systems can ensure more sustainable and secure energy futures, while reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change. The Guide explains the idea of community energy, which is becoming a hot topic for every municipality in the Lower Mainland. Change is coming to neighbourhoods as municipalities try to reduce community-wide carbon footprints and manage rising energy prices, while maintaining their citizens’ quality of life.

The guide is organized into 5 sections:

  1. Introduction to Community Energy
  2. Basic Concepts – A Visual Glossary
  3. Regional Renewable Energy Resources
  4. Richmond Case Study: Urban Neighbourhood Energy Scenarios
  5. Surrey Case Study: Suburban Block Energy Scenarios

The Illustrated Guide to Community Energy has been developed by the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning and the Elements Lab at UBC in partnership with Metro Vancouver, citizens and staff of the City of Richmond and the City of Surrey and with support from the Neptis Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and GEOIDE.


Community Energy Explorer funding by:



Guide funding by:



With support from the cities of