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 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.