ECB Current Initiatives

The Education and Capacity Building (ECB) program has supported a variety of initiatives across Ontario, including workshops, conferences, e-learning tools, hands-on training and educational resources. ECB funding recipients and their proposals are listed here, many of which are still in development.

ECB 4.0 Recipients

Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA): This initiative seeks to build on the successful outcomes of the “Enabling Remote First Nation Communities to Reduce Diesel Use Through Waterpower Development” project. It involves a deeper dive into key business and financial components and competencies needed to carry out community level waterpower development, which will include updated GIS maps and a three day workshop.

Local Authority Services (LAS): LAS seeks to develop and deliver a series of five full-day workshops at participating municipalities in order to provide regional staff with the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to implement an Employee Engagement and Energy Awareness Program (EEEAP). Under EEAAP, behavioural energy efficiency is utilized to bring about energy savings by changing the typical workplace culture through awareness and education.

Whitefish River First Nation: Whitefish River First Nation has created a Community Energy Plan (CEP) and will implement this by hiring a Community Energy Advisor, establishing a Community Energy Committee, using new computer software to understand and document current residential energy issues, and educating the community leadership and staff on a variety of energy topics.

MoCreebec Eeyoud: MoCreebec Eeyoud has completed a Community Energy Plan (CEP), and will implement this by completing energy audits and low-cost energy efficiency upgrades for housing units, building capacity for 6 energy auditors, improving capacity for households to understand and monitor consumption patterns, and reporting on conservation measures and alternative heating options.

Sustainable Eastern Ontario Network: Working with the City of Ottawa, Sustainable Eastern Ontario Network will implement a Municipal Target Audience strategy focusing on education and capacity building for the City of Ottawa council and staff. Educational presentations will be held for the Mayor’s office, the City Manager’s office, senior leadership teams, senior manager and key staff from all 10 City Departments. Topics will cover areas such as energy generation and consumption, energy efficiency, conservation and renewable generation. A Public Sector strategy will also focus on education and capacity building within the top 150 energy consumers and employers in the City of Ottawa.

Federation of Community Power Cooperatives: This initiative targets municipal leaders so that they have a good baseline knowledge and understanding of renewable energy, service delivery options, and approval processes when renewable energy projects are proposed in their communities. The objective is to pilot a short training module with municipal councillors and managers in Eastern Ontario. A short video and PowerPoint will be developed that each municipality can tailor to their own needs.

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA): This is a two-part initiative which involves a research study to identify and assess the best practices from existing water efficiency programs in Ontario. A municipal eco-cluster or working group consisting of five municipalities (Region of Peel, City of Toronto, York Region, City of Guelph, and Region of Waterloo) will be developed to showcase these best practice projects along with the development of case studies that will be shared with other target audience municipalities and governmental stakeholders.

Bearskin Lake First Nation: Bearskin Lake First Nation has enrolled their Community Consultation Officer in the 20/20 Catalysts Program (a national Indigenous clean energy capacity building program) to gain the skills needed to enable the community to develop clean renewable energy. Ultimately, this training will maximize social and economic benefits for the community by reducing diesel reliance.

TREC Renewable Energy Co-op:  In cooperation with Clean Air Partnership, TREC Renewable Energy Co-op will mobilize community capital through a multi-phase initiative. The first phase, “Develop new Economic Models for Renewable Energy Co-Ops in a Post-FIT world”, will explore new business opportunities for RE Co-ops including community scale projects in the 500kW to 5MW range, financing energy efficiency retrofits, and acting as a local aggregator. The second phase, “Develop Municipality RE Co-op Partnerships”, will aim to facilitate new partnerships between RE Co-ops and Municipalities. The outcome is a model that will enable green energy partnerships and projects in a “post-FIT world”.

Georgina Island First Nation: This initiative will enable Georgina Island First Nation to hire a Community Energy Advisor as part of their Community Energy Plan (CEP). The Advisor would report to the community's newly developed Committee of Energy and Climate Change. The individual will assist the community in areas of energy education and conservation on an ongoing basis. This includes improving knowledge and understanding of energy use and its associated costs, implementing cost reduction strategies, and transitioning towards energy independence.

TREC Charitable Foundation: The initiative, Building Capacity and Skills for Aboriginal Renewable Energy Development with Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, will provide education, tangible skills and capacity development for community leaders, children, youth, Elders and other members of Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (MCA). This will enhance their knowledge, awareness and participation in MCA’s goal to become a First Nation leader in reducing its carbon footprint by incorporating renewable energy technologies, energy conservation and micro-grid technologies.

Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation: Six Nations of the Grand River has enrolled their Community Consultation Officer in the 20/20 Catalysts Program. This is a three-phase skills and capacity building initiative designed to enhance the clean energy project development knowledge within the SNGRDC (and therefore the broader Six Nations community).

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne: This initiative is a three-phase skills and capacity building program designed to enhance the clean energy project development knowledge within the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. The initiative will see one individual from Akwesasne participate in the 20/20 Catalysts Program.

Thessalon First Nation: Having completed a Community Energy Plan (CEP), Thessalon First Nation will implement actions and initiatives towards their goals. These goals include reducing energy costs through education, supporting sustainable energy practices, transitioning towards energy independence, and providing support for future funding programs. A Community Energy Advisor will be hired as part of the initiative.

QUEST: This initiative will support regional planning priorities along with local community energy planning and projects, as a means to respond to peak demand reduction, enhance system reliability and cost effectiveness and reduce overall energy use. The project objectives will support planning alignment sessions in three (3) planning regions of interest to the IESO and draw on the results of the planning alignment sessions to prepare a Planning Alignment Primer - a report to identify the structure and best practices for alignment between municipalities, utilities, and the IESO.

ECB 3.0 Recipients

Canadian Biogas Association: Given the new and innovative nature of renewable natural gas (RNG) and the lack of familiarity of this fuel in the marketplace, this initiative will bring together a range of stakeholders to build understanding of the opportunities with RNG and the path forward. The Canadian Biogas Association will connect stakeholders and develop RNG tools and targeted communications for municipalities with respect to renewable natural gas.

Chapleau Cree First Nation: This initiative will educate community members in the East Lake Superior region about the Regional Energy Strategy developed by the Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum. This strategy identifies specific opportunities as they relate to education, transportation, climate change, pursuing funding programs, natural resource development management of potential energy resources, conservation, economic development, and energy project development.

Pembina Institute: The Pembina Institute will work with Kasabonika Lake First Nation community to create a Community Energy Advisor skill and training development program to develop a framework approach and toolkit that the community can use for engaging members in activities with outcomes that advance community energy planning and implementation.

Shibogama First Nations Council (First Nations Service Organization Inc.): FNSO Inc. will create an Aboriginal participation plan for the Wataynikaneyap transmission project and hold two related workshops attended by leadership or key representatives from the 20 First Nations partners. These workshops will help prepare the First Nation communities for connection to the IESO-controlled grid and for education to facilitate understanding of the requirements and regulatory processes to participate in a transmission project in Ontario.

Toronto Atmospheric Fund: This initiative will provide low cost initial energy audits to housing co-operatives, municipalities, public entities and Aboriginal communities, while also building education capacity about energy efficiency in buildings and conservation techniques. The results of this initiative will include reduced energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions, reduced costs for building owners, support for student employment in the field and increased data available to building owners, which will accelerate more retrofits in general. Increasing the accessibility of retrofits for building owners will also have a positive impact for the still growing commercial energy-efficiency sector, thereby supporting more green jobs in the province.

TREC Education: A comprehensive tool-kit will be created focused on  key energy opportunities being pursued in the province by First Nations, in particular energy planning, renewable energy development and energy conservation. This initiative addresses the capacity challenges and lack of coordinated knowledge sharing needed to grow successful participation of First Nations communities in energy projects around the province.

Trent University: Trent University will create a program that will give First Nation decision-makers the tools they need to understand energy education, conservation and generation in an in-depth manner, and engage both their own communities and business partners to create projects that are socially, sustainably and economically successful for the community itself and business partners. Outcomes for program participants include resume building, the creation of a professional network of program alumni and practical knowledge and tools to be used in future business partnerships. All participants will receive a Trent University endorsed certificate in Energy Management and Duty to Consult.

Waaskiinaysay Ziibi Inc. Development Corporation: Waaskiinaysay Ziibi Development Corporation is co-owned by five First Nation communities: Animbiigoo Zaagiigan Anishinaabek, Bingi Neyaashi Anishinaabek, Biinjitiwaabix Zaaging Anishinaabek, Red Rock Indian Band and Whitesand First Nation.

The initiative will prepare remote the First Nation communities for connection to the IESO-controlled grid and for education to facilitate understanding of the requirements and regulatory processes to participate in a transmission project in Ontario.

Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, Fort Albany Power Corporation, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority: This initiative will focus on the education and capacity building of energy and facility management staff in the Fort Albany Power Corporation area, which will see the transferring of the capacity first to the WAHA health organization, and then the health care facilities served by local distribution companies on the west James Bay coast, and in other health care facilities across the far North.

ECB 2.0 Recipients

Ontario Waterpower Association: This initiative is focused on building the confidence and capacity of communities (municipalities, cooperatives) to become actively engaged in new waterpower development at existing infrastructure as encouraged through the 2015 Feed-in Tariff Program (FIT 4.0).

Ontario Waterpower Association: This initiative is focused on building the capacity of remote First Nations communities to become proponents of, or economic partners in, waterpower development projects in anticipation of the extension of transmission per the IESO's Remote Communities Connection Plan.  Further, it seeks to advance the collaborative efforts made to date between the province, the OWA and the IESO with respect to identifying economically viable waterpower opportunities in reasonable proximity to diesel-dependent communities.

Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST) and the Clean Air Partnership (CAP): The purpose of the initiative is to develop and deliver tools and resources to help Ontario municipalities, utilities and other community stakeholders to develop and implement Community Energy Plans (CEPs). The plans will directly support the Ministry of Energy's Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) program, Conservation First Framework, conservation / demand management and demand-side management, and the Independent Electricity System Operator's (IESO) Regional Electricity Planning program, as well as energy aspects of planning policies such as the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak: Keewaytinook Okimakanak in partnership with five First Nations and Lakehead University will develop capacity building tools and materials to describe the function and benefits of solar PV in a manner relevant to community members living in remote First Nations in northwestern Ontario. Community energy planners in the five partnering First Nations will hold open houses to gather questions and gauge the understanding of renewable energy among their community members.

Algonquin College: Algonquin College proposes to undertake a progressive and innovative initiative focused on meeting the energy management needs and interests of two Aboriginal communities in eastern Ontario. The program will identify and train two community energy management advisors (EMAs), who will work with the communities on a wide and varied suite of energy management opportunities relevant and applicable to them.

Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs: The Solar Electricity Safety Training for Firefighters initiative is a training and educational program designed to prepare firefighters in Ontario to confidently and safely respond to emergencies involving solar electricity. It includes a comprehensive training program and handbook covering basic training required by every firefighter expected to respond to a solar electrical emergency. It also includes information that will help fire departments locate current solar installations in their municipalities and implement a standardized sticker identifying a solar installation in a building/facility, which will help in tactical considerations and potential hazards.

Summerhill Impact: SI has teamed up with two expert contractors from Ontario's Aboriginal energy sector to create a project that focuses on developing innovative strategies to increase the capacity of Aboriginal communities to participate in Save on Energy programs in northern Ontario.

TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative Education: The goal of this initiative is to develop and deliver a series of capacity building and energy literacy workshops co-developed with the Walpole Island First Nation (but will also serve as the foundation for a capacity and skills development program for other interested First Nations communities) to inform leaders and community members about the various energy-related programs available to them so they may make informed decisions about participating in and benefitting from them.

ECB 1.0 Recipients

Community Power Fund: To develop guidebooks, project development maps, case studies and other resources to assist co-ops and other groups in participating the renewable energy sector.

Biogas Association Proposal: The development of resources, in-person training and first-hand exposure to existing biogas facilities to increase awareness and skills related to municipal biogas.

Quest and Clean Air Partnership: The development of an Ontario Energy Community of Practice (ECOP) that delivers training, knowledge and awareness to regions of Ontario with active regional energy plans with the intent of bringing municipalities together to support RE development.

Nipissing First Nation: To create a workforce education program to ensure community members have the necessary skills to develop, operate and maintain renewable energy projects for the long term.

City of Toronto: The development of a screening tool to identify possible sites for ground mount solar PV  in the city of Toronto.

TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and Federation of Community Power Co-operatives: To create workshops for renewable energy co-op development, business planning, modelling, partnership development, and member management that will promote education and skills development.     

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority: The development of a solar PV commissioning curriculum and an operating and maintenance curriculum that is available through a web-based e-learning format free of charge to the public.

Faith and the Common Good: To reinvigorate the participation of Ontario faith-based communities in the renewable energy sector as participation has slowed over the last couple of years. Includes updates to existing suite of comprehensive resources as well as development of new educational resources designed to increase awareness and involvement.

Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op & Sustainable Eastern Ontario: Create an online campaign and in-person workshops across Eastern Ontario to share information about renewable energy and co-op ownership and models. 

Confederation College: Develop a study to quantify the benefits as well as capital and operating costs of biomass in communities in northwestern Ontario and create a template of best practices.

Shibogama First Nations Council: Develop a three-day energy conference including workshops, participatory sessions, presentations and training with a Northern Ontario focus on topics such as RETScreen analysis, success stories in remote First Nation communities and technology awareness.

Algonquins of Pikwanagan and Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve: The development of EarthKeepers, an online collaborative platform by Aboriginal Communities for Aboriginal Communities, to increase education and awareness, facilitate collaboration, and build capacity and skills related to renewable energy.