Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the main goals of the Off-Diesel Initiative?The ‘Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative’ aims to support remote Indigenous communities in developing and implementing ambitious plans to reduce diesel use for heat and power. The Initiative will unfold in phases to identify and train community Clean Energy Champions, support community-driven clean energy planning, and provide funds to begin implementing project(s) to achieve diesel reduction goals. Clean Energy Champions and their community will be eligible for up to $1.3 million in funding to support clean energy visioning, planning and project implementation, and will also receive training, peer-to-peer learning, access to mentors, support for establishing key partnerships, and flexibility that respects individual community needs
Why should I apply to the Off-Diesel Initiative?The Initiative is a unique opportunity to access flexible funding to develop and implement an ambitious community diesel reduction plan. Natural Resources Canada will be delivering this program in collaboration with the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise (ICE SE) and the Pembina Institute. This collaboration with will allow Clean Energy Champions to participate in the ICE SE 20/20 Catalysts program, which includes sessions with Indigenous leaders and clean energy practitioners from across the country. Participants and their communities will gain the skills and tools needed to maximize the social and economic benefits communities gain through clean energy initiatives.
What is the definition of an Indigenous remote community?
- An Indigenous remote community is one with a majority Indigenous population that identifies itself culturally and traditionally as being First Nation, Inuit, or Métis, and
- Is not be connected to the North American electrical grid or the piped natural gas network, and is a permanent or long-term (5 years or more) settlement with ten or more dwellings.
The applicant does not have to be Indigenous to apply but must show that they have strong ties to the Indigenous remote community.
Can anyone from a remote Indigenous community apply?Yes, anyone can apply. You do not need to hold a particular position within the community. Part of the initiative will involve engaging your community in developing a clean energy vision for the community, developing a comprehensive energy plan, and building support for your clean energy project.
Is there a certain age that people must be to apply?Yes, you must be 18 years or older to apply.
How do I Apply?
Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button located at the bottom of the page. You will be directed to the 2-page application form, which must be submitted online by March 15th 2019 23:59 EST.
Eligible applicants will be contacted to schedule an informal interview to discuss their application and their suitability with staff of the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise. The Application and interview information will be prepared for an external Indigenous jury who will make the final selection of the (up to) 15 successful applicants that will participate in the initiative.
Following review by the external Indigenous jury, applicants will be notified to confirm whether they were selected.
What is the time commitment?
The ‘Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative’ will take place over 3 years, with the majority of the work happening within your community.
It will be mandatory, however, for successful applicants to attend all on-site training sessions, as well as an annual gathering that takes place in October of each year. The 2019 training dates and locations for the sessions are as follows:
- May 5-10, 2019 in British Columbia
- June 16-21, 2019 in Northwest Territories
- July 21-26, 2019 in Ontario
The 2019 Annual Gathering will take place Oct. 28-30th, 2019, in Ottawa.
Applicants to the Initiative, should be prepared to dedicate the time required to take on a leadership position within their community to lead the development of an ambitious diesel reduction vision for the community, and develop (or update) a clean energy plan and project.
Will my travel and accommodations be coveredTravel, food, and accommodation costs associated with participating in the initiative’s in-person training will be covered, including participation in the three, week-long training sessions of the 20/20 Catalysts Program.
What is the timeframe and phases of the initiative?
The ‘Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative’ will take place over 3 years (April 2019 - March 2022). An additional two years of program support under the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program will be available to a number of the Initiative participants (Phase 4 below).
Program Launch and Call for Clean Energy Champions: The program launch signifies that the program is open for applications to become a Clean Energy Champion.
Application Deadline and Intake: The deadline to apply to the Off-Diesel Initiative is March 15th 2019 23:59 EST. Applicants will also be interviewed by an ICE SE staff person following the submission of their application. An external Indigenous Jury will select up to 15 Clean Energy Champions to participate in the Initiative. Participants will be informed if they were successful in April 2019.
Phase 1 - Champion Training, Networking, and Community Engagement (April – September 2019): The first phase of the program will involve participants (also known as Clean Energy Champions) taking part in the 20/20 Catalysts Training Program. Participants will also receive $20 000 in Phase 1 to support community engagement activities in their respective communities to develop support for the pursuit of a community-scale clean energy plan and project, and the establishment of a community energy governance structure to drive this plan forward.
To move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 each Clean Energy Champion, with support of their community, will be asked to develop a proposal that the external Indigenous Jury will review that outlines:
- objectives, activities (including training for the community) and proposed budget for developing an ambitious diesel reduction vision and energy plan that is endorsed by the Community.
- buy-in from their community to undertake the proposed clean energy planning and subsequent phases of the Off-Diesel Initiative.
- governance structure to manage the proposed activities, which includes a legal recipient of funding for a contribution agreement.
The proposal is needed to establish a funding agreement for the next phase of the Initiative.
Phase 2 - Community Clean Energy Planning and Training (October 2019-March 2021): The second phase of the program will involve the development of a community energy plan that includes ambitious diesel reduction goals. Clean Energy Champions will work with their respective communities to develop this plan and identify training requirements to support the plan. Clean Energy Champions will also develop a detailed project plan to start implementing the community energy plan. Each community will be eligible for up to $500 000 to support this phase of the initiative.
To move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 participants will be asked to:
- Submit a comprehensive community energy plan that includes ambitious diesel reduction plan with targets, and community co-benefits enabled by a community-scale clean energy project.
- Submit an implementation plan (with proposed timeline/activities/partnerships) to develop a community clean energy project.
The plan will be used to inform the selection of a priority clean energy project.
Phase 3 - Communities Begin Implementing Plan Through Project Development (March 2021-March 2022): Communities will start to develop their first clean energy project, identified through the clean energy planning process. Activities in Phase 3 could include carrying out a front-end engineering design study for the project; purchasing clean energy equipment; securing the necessary permits for the project; and/or implementing energy efficiency upgrades in the community. Each community will be eligible for up to $800 000 to support this phase of the initiative. Note that some communities may start this stage earlier than March 2021 depending on how quickly they complete Phase 2.
To be considered to move to Phase 4 Clean Energy Champions and their communities will be asked to submit to the external Indigenous Jury:
- A final report outlining clean energy planning and project implementation process, including results and milestones related to diesel reduction.
Phase 4 - Leading Communities Funded to Continue Implementation (April 2022-March 2024): The External Indigenous Jury will select the leading Energy Champions and their communities who will be eligible for follow-on funding to support additional clean energy project development (total of $9M available for leading communities) under the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program. The leading communities will be those that have achieved the greatest community co-benefits through the clean energy planning and project development work they have completed; and those that have undergone the greatest improvement from the baseline starting point.
Will my travel and accommodations be covered?Travel, food, and accommodation costs associated with participating in the Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative’s in-person training will be covered, including participation in the three, week-long training sessions of the 20/20 Catalysts Program.
Am I guaranteed to move on to each phase?Completion of each phase will be determined by an external Indigenous jury, who will assess and evaluate all documentation to ensure participants are ready to move to the next Phase of the Initiative. If the jury determines you are not ready to move onto the next Phase, you will not disqualified from the Initiative but will be given more time to complete the Phase. However, this may limit the ability to complete all activities within the 3 year time period.
There is already a clean energy project in my community. Can I still apply?
The goal of the Initiative is to build clean energy capacity within remote Indigenous communities that are not already pursuing a community-scale clean energy project. Therefore, priority will be given to applicants that do not already have a community-scale energy project within their community.
Preference will also be given to remote Indigenous communities who are NOT currently involved in projects that will result in grid connection or connection to other sources of power (such as a major hydro project) within 5 years of the application deadline.
The presence of individual residential-scale clean energy projects, or similar, does not disqualify a community from applying.
Can my community install any kind of renewable technology?Yes. We encourage ideas that are community driven and will support any type of renewable technology that the community decides is the best to implement.
If my community is already receiving funding under the Clean Energy in Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program, can I apply to this?If you are receiving funding for a community-scale project that has moved beyond a feasibility study under the deployment, demonstration, or bioheat streams, you are not eligible to apply. However if a community is receiving funding for a feasibility study under the bioheat stream or through the CERRC capacity-building stream, you are eligible to apply.
If I have other questions, who can I contact?For additional questions, please send an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Off-Diesel Initiative.