Windsor’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City of Windsor’s greenhouse gas inventory is divided into two overarching categories: “Community”, which refers to the aggregate emissions of all sectors operating within Windsor, and “Corporate”, which pertains solely to emissions generated via the activities of the Corporation of the City of Windsor

Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Community emissions sources include the residential, commercial and institutional, industrial, transportation and solid waste sectors. Community greenhouse gas emissions for 2014 are estimated to have totaled 1.9 million tonnes of CO2e, or more than 8.8 tonnes per person.

GHG by sector pie chartGHG by source pie chart

As can be seen in the chart above, natural gas use is the primary cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Windsor. Natural gas use is responsible for 58% of greenhouse gas emissions by utility, dwarfing electricity at 6%, the other significant energy source used in buildings. The Transportation sector, fuels for which include gasoline, diesel and ethanol, make up 36% of the Windsor community's greenhouse gas emissions. The Residential, Industrial and Commercial & Institutional sectors each produce 20-22% of community emissions, while the Municipal sector (the Corporation of the City of Windsor) is responsible for about 1% of emissions.

The concentration of industrial activity in Windsor is a significant contributor to the significant use of natural gas in the city. Industrial processes and heating of large factories are large users of natural gas and are a considerable source of emissions. That said, compared to the European average, North American industry, like that in Windsor, tends to be quite efficient, using only about 20% more energy. Moreover, automotive companies like Chrysler and Ford are some of the most efficient global companies in the world. While there remains room for improvement, industry's prioritization of efficiency has provided it with a head-start compared to the broader economy with regards to energy management.

Like industry, the residential sector is a significant energy user in Windsor. Unlike industry, however, efficiencies are hardly comparable. Compared to the European Union average, buildings in North America consume 80% to 150% more energy than their European counterparts.

This trend is fully on display in Windsor, where energy consumption per household is greater than in comparable cities in Canada and globally. Households in Windsor use about 35% more energy than the Ontarian and Canadian averages, and more than double the energy of the average Danish home. Likewise, per square meter of floor space, homes in Windsor use more than 25% more energy than the average Canadian home, and nearly 3.5 times as much energy as German A-rates homes.

Homes in Windsor use more energy than the Ontario and Canada averages, and much more than best practices in Denmark and Germany
The primary explanation for this is the age of Windsor's homes. We have one of the oldest housing stocks in the province, with the average home being built in 1955 and experiencing an annual renewal rate of only 1%. Windsor also has fewer high-density housing options than comparable cities, with 86% of the housing stock being comprised of single-family detached homes. By comparison, the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge region has a housing stock which is comprised of about 56% single-family detached homes.
Windsor has an old housing stock, with the average home being built in 1955. Most homes are also single-family detached
As a result, any effective plan to increase efficiency and better manage energy will require a significant residential component. 

Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As seen below, the Corporation of the City of Windsor's Municipal emissions, which account for about 1% of community emissions, totaled 30,470 tonnes of CO2e​ in 2014, the most recent year for which information is available. The Building sector is responsible for the largest portion of these emissions at 44%, followed by the Corporate Fleet and Transit Services (42%), Water & Sewage (11%) and Streetlights (3%).

Corporate GHG Emissions by Source pie chartCorporate GHG Emissions by Sector pie chart
The City of Windsor's Corporate Climate Action Plan has been developed concurrently with the Community Energy Plan to address emissions produced by the Corporation of the City of Windsor.

For more information on Environmental Initiatives

Phone: For general information call 311.  For detailed inquiries call 519-253-7111 ext. 3226.