ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program (EANCP) ended on March 31, 2016. However, as outlined in Budget 2016, the Government of Canada will invest $10.7M over two years to implement renewable energy projects in off-grid Indigenous and northern communities that rely on diesel and other fossil fuels to generate heat and power. More details will be released as they become available.
About the program
The ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program 2011-2016 provides funding to Aboriginal and northern communities for renewable energy projects. It supports the development and implementation of renewable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from electricity and heat generation in these communities.
The program only supports projects that use proven and commercialized technologies that are appropriate to the local conditions.
Priority is given to:
- projects in northern communities (in the territories)
- projects in off-grid communities (those not connected to a provincial or regional electrical grid)
- communities/proponents that have not received funding from EANCP in the past
The program began in 2007 and issued its last call for applications in 2015.
Who can apply?
Applications are no longer being accepted. Eligible applicants were:
- Aboriginal communities across Canada
- Northern communities (i.e. north of the 60th parallel)
- Band councils
- Tribal councils
- Aboriginal organizations
- Aboriginal community groups
- Territorial governments and northern organizations
What is an eligible project?
Eligible projects are divided into two streams:
- Stream A focuses on renewable energy projects which are typically 'stand-alone' projects that produce energy for a group of buildings or an entire community. The energy produced should reduce over 4,000 tonnes of GHG reductions over their lifecycle (i.e. over 20 years). Applicants can request a maximum of up to $ 250,000 per project.
- eligible work activities under Stream A include prefeasibility and feasibility studies, engineering and costing, environmental assessments, partnership development and negotiations, and project management
- Stream B focuses on renewable energy projects directly integrated with new or existing community buildings to produce energy for one or more community buildings. Applicants can request a maximum of up to $100,000 per project.
- eligible work activities under Stream B include engineering, purchase, shipping, and installation of renewable energy equipment
Previously received funding through the program between 2007-2011 for any project is included in the calculation of the maximum amount. For example, if a Stream A project received $150,000 under EANCP 2007-2011, it would be eligible to receive up to $100,000 under EANCP 2011-2016.
Eligible types of renewable energy technologies
Eligible renewable energy resources and technologies include:
- residual heat recovery from diesel systems in off-grid communities
- bioenergy utilizing direct combustion of woody biomass
- ground source heat pumps, water source heat pumps, and geo-exchange heating/cooling systems
- solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, and solar air heating
- hydroelectricity of less than 50 MW
Learn more about renewables on Natural Resources Canada's website.
- professional fees (e.g. fees paid to an engineering firm to complete an electrical interconnection study or fees paid to an environmental professional)
- salaries and wages (e.g. a wage paid to a temporary employee of a Band council that is acting as the project manager on behalf of the community)
- equipment and facilities (e.g. equipment to measure stream flows in a hydroelectric prefeasibility study, or solar panels for the roof of a community owned building)
- travel expenses must be paid directly by the funding recipient in relation to the project
- in-house operating expenses directly related to the project (e.g. cost of printing, telephone calls, etc.)
- other expenses related to the project (e.g. a fee to obtain a license or permit for the project from a regulatory agency)
Eligible expenditures must be directly related to the project and will be reimbursed by EANCP based on a payment schedule. This is done after the program receives a project's final report and financial statements showing the approved work activities expenditures. Work activities completed prior to the approval of a project will not be reimbursed by EANCP.
Non-eligible projects and expenditures
- For Stream A projects, the program will not provide funding for project construction or implementation.
EANCP will not provide funds for:
- projects focused on fuel savings related to transportation
- projects involving co-firing, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, gasification, production of biofuels, and geothermal electricity generation
- projects related to housing or for general maintenance of community buildings, including the integration of energy efficiency products such as windows, insulation, lighting, etc.
- workshops, conferences and information meetings
- international travel expenses
- research and development projects, demonstration or pilot projects
- projects with technologies that have not been proven or commercialized in Canada
- projects that are submitted by an individual and/or where the benefits of the proposed project do not serve the community and/or First Nation
How to apply?
Applicants must submit the following documents to be considered for funding:
- A funding application form with all of the questions completed.
- A project budget with "expenditure details" and "contributions from other sources" completed. The applicant must also provide details about the purpose of the expenditure as it relates to the project. The estimates of costs should be as accurate as possible
- A letter of support that refers to the proposed project, the application for EANCP funding and support for the proposed project.
- A completed RETScreen analysis, which is a decision support tool for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Applicants must have used the Version 4 Method 2 Analysis Type and included the energy model, cost analysis, emissions analysis and financial analysis. The completed RETScreen must be submitted in .ret format.
A confirmation of receipt is sent by email to all applicants. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application was received by EANCP. If an applicant did not receive an email confirmation that the application was received, the application will not be considered for funding.
How are applications assessed?
Applications are assessed by the following criteria:
- The project description contains enough information to understand the need for, and scope of the proposed project in relation to the existing system.
- The project will lead to the reduction of heat and/or electricity use from a conventional and more GHG emission-intensive source.
- There is evidence of strong project governance and the roles of the partners are reasonable.
- The chosen technology is appropriate to the local conditions.
- The applicant has considered key technical and financial factors related to the project.
- The technical information about the proposed project is complete and assumptions reasonable.
- The applicant has considered environmental, regulatory and permitting requirements.
- The applicant has considered appropriate project development considerations, project risks and mitigation measures.
- The specific work activities are logical and sufficiently detailed to understand the scope of work and deliverables, and demonstrate understanding of the project development steps. Work activities funded by EANCP must be completed and funds expended by March 31, 2016.
- The project budget is reasonable and linked with specific work activities.
- The community, in which the project is located, is supportive of the project and interested in the successful outcome of the project.
- The community is shown to have strong involvement in the project (i.e., a community champion) and will contribute resources to the project's success, through a monetary and/or in kind contribution.
- The project includes key partners (such as provincial/territorial governments, Aboriginal governments, educational institutions, professional or industrial associations, non-governmental organizations or the private sector) who will contribute to the project (monetary or in kind).
- The project expects to achieve the stated economic, environmental and social benefits for the community in which it is located.
- The project is likely to proceed to implementation.
Once an application is approved, funds for project activities are transferred through a comprehensive funding arrangement between the recipient and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Recipients are required to report to the department on the progress of their project and outcomes of the approved funding to show that expenditures are made for approved project activities, to compare anticipated results with actual results and to identify next steps. A reporting template will be provided by EANCP, with the level and frequency of reporting dependent on the recipient's risk rating as defined by their general assessment.
For more information, contact the ecoEnergy team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Public Enquiries at 1-800-567-9604.
Previously selected projects
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