Efficiencies & Innovation

The City continues to drive change in the way it delivers services and is constantly looking at ways to achieve Council’s priority to make tax dollars go further. 

The City continually works to find efficiencies and build innovation into the way it does business. All City Departments conduct line-by-line reviews of their budgets each year and have embraced a culture of innovation to find savings wherever possible. 

Innovating to Save Money & Improve Service

Below are some examples of how the City is improving & saving money through innovation. 

Energy Management

From 2014 through 2018, the Energy Management Branch:

  • saved more than $6 million through ongoing energy audits including the City’s LED streetlight conversion project, which saves $575,000 annually.
  • received over $1.6 million in incentive revenue.
  • generated a utility operating cost avoidance of $6.6 million.
  • invested $5.6 million in energy efficiency capital works.
  • realized a utility cost savings of $783,091, when comparing 2014 and 2018 utility expenses.
  • generated a return of 12% on energy efficiency investments

Other Initiatives

  • The City saves $500,000 annually by recycling the sand collected during street sweeping and reusing it as part of winter road maintenance
  • Process improvements at the City’s wastewater treatment facility resulted in $140,000 annual savings. 
  • The City’s winter maintenance operations are optimizing routes to reduce costs and prepare for growth. The fleet renewal program optimizes lease vs. own to reduce maintenance and operation costs.
  • The City’s move to e-tendering is cutting costs for both the City and suppliers.
  • The City’s Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX) program leverages challenge-based procurement to addresses community driven issues. The first project is seeking ways to connect Seniors and Persons with Disabilities with an innovative solution to clear residential windrows during the winter season.

Did You Know...

Ontario municipalities receive only 9 cents of every tax dollar raised in Ontario, while the Provincial and Federal governments receive 44 cents and 47 cents respectively. In contrast to this, municipalities own 57% of the capital infrastructure, while the Provincial Government owns 41% of Infrastructure and the Federal Government only 2%.

Barrie taxes are very comparable to other municipalities. In fact, they are in the lower end of other major southern Ontario cities. Standard & Poor's reaffirmed the City of Barrie’s AA Credit Rating, with stable outlook.