New Programs and Projects Demonstrate Indigenous Communities Taking a Leading Role in Ontario’s Energy Sector

EIN 37 CS IESO logo 400

July 14, 2022

A suite of new programs and projects are demonstrating how Indigenous peoples and organizations across Ontario are leading the development of innovative energy projects that will contribute to cleaner and more affordable electricity, and more prosperous communities. To support these efforts, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is providing more than $4.8 million to 47 recipients through its Indigenous Energy Support Programs.

The IESO is also launching the new Save on Energy First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program, which provides up to $100,000 in funding to on-reserve communities for energy-efficiency projects.

“Indigenous communities are growing their leadership in major energy projects and actively participating in Ontario’s electricity sector. They are also doing an incredible job building local capacity, creating new opportunities for youth and jobs in their communities. We are pleased to have these programs in place, and are committed to continuing our work with Indigenous communities and organizations and engaging in conversations that will support their energy, environmental and social objectives,” commented Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO, Independent Electricity System Operator.

IESO Indigenous Energy Support Programs

Indigenous-led projects receiving funding through the Indigenous Energy Support Programs will help develop renewable generation, electric-vehicle charging, energy-efficiency measures, community energy planning, as well as skills development and training opportunities for youth.

Building local capacity enables Indigenous communities and organizations to participate and take a leading role in Ontario’s energy sector while also empowering future generations. Awareness and education initiatives will lead to job readiness and energy savings.

“Many may not realize the vital role that Chief and Council play in managing and operating most of the commercial buildings in First Nation communities. The newly announced First Nation Community Building Retrofit program is a great opportunity for First Nations to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of band-owned buildings across First Nation communities in Ontario. Working at Michipicoten First Nation, where many buildings are older and in need of energy efficiency upgrades, I’m especially looking forward to participating in this program. Working closely with IESO and their delivery partners to share information and ultimately build capacity in the community, reflects our traditional teachings of sharing power—all while making our buildings more energy efficient and sustainable,” Gina Simon, Community Energy Champion, Michipicoten First Nation.

Some of the projects funded include:

·         Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation) will implement a pilot program to install two solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles. Lessons learned from this program will be shared with other northern communities.

·         Sheshegwaning First Nation will install 20kW net-metered solar systems on two band buildings to reduce energy costs. Savings will be reinvested back into community infrastructure.

·         Mississauga First Nation will use its funding to increase energy-related knowledge among its members and facilitate access to programs such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program and the Energy Affordability Program.

·         Sagamok Anishnawbek will provide renewable energy education to local youth through a partnership with Relay Education, a charity that delivers renewable energy and environmental education programs.

Read the full list of funding recipients.

The IESO closed its most recent application window on June 30, 2022 with the successful applicants to be announced later this year.

Save on Energy Retrofit Program

The IESO has also launched the Save on Energy First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program which is open to all on-reserve First Nations communities connected to the Ontario electricity grid. It provides up to $100,000 in funding as well as technical support to communities to improve the energy-efficiency of band-owned facilities and manage their electricity use more effectively.

A variety of energy-efficiency measures are available under the program, including indoor and outdoor lighting; heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls; and more complex retrofit projects in facilities such as arenas and wastewater treatment plants. The newly-launched program complements other Save on Energy programs supporting Indigenous communities including the Remote First Nation Energy Efficiency Program.

Related Articles

Latest Articles

Changing Scene

  • Nedco is an official Alliance Master Industrial Automation Distributor!

    Nedco is an official Alliance Master Industrial Automation Distributor!

    May 26, 2023 Nedco Quebec announces appointment as Alliance Master Industrial Automation Distributor, making us a proud partner of Schneider Electric and their Alliance Partner Program, attesting to high level of technical competence and expertise in the field of automation and digitalization.  The entire Nedco Automation team is excited to announce that we have officially… Read More…

  • Canada Investing $1.2 Billion to Make Affordable Housing More Energy Efficient

    Canada Investing $1.2 Billion to Make Affordable Housing More Energy Efficient

    May 26, 2023 The federal government has announced the launch of the Canada Greener Affordable Housing (CGAH) program, which will modernize affordable multi-unit residential buildings by making them more energy efficient and affordable to operate, while also extending building lifespans.  The CGAH program will make available $1.2 billion in low-interest repayable and forgivable loans over the next… Read More…

  • IBEW Announce New Canadian Education Specialist

    IBEW Announce New Canadian Education Specialist

    May 26, 2023 The IBEW First District office has announced Richard Prasad from Local Union 804 – Kitchener as the new Canadian Education Specialist, effective June 1, 2023. The application process involved 13 applicants, “who had outstanding videos and resumes,” the organization commented via press release. Prasad joins the First District Office with an extensive… Read More…

  • ESA Providing Free Resources for LECs to Help Clients with Busy Home Renovation Season

    ESA Providing Free Resources for LECs to Help Clients with Busy Home Renovation Season

    May 23, 2023 Spring is here, and so begins the start of home renovation season! Many homeowners are spending time researching their next home renovation project, studying the latest trends, and figuring out their list of must-haves. But even after all that research, they inevitably still have questions on who to hire, inspections and permits…. Read More…