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Aboriginal Communities Invited to Apply for Energy-Saving Program

January 8, 2015

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Aboriginal firm First Nations Engineering Services Ltd. are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the third year of the saveONenergy ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM. 

This innovative program provides customized electricity conservation services designed to help First Nation communities, including remote and northern communities, reduce their electricity use in residential housing, and in commercial and institutional buildings, like stores, schools and band offices. The program also creates employment opportunities, potentially providing up to 30 jobs in participating First Nation communities. Program managers, community coordinators, canvassers and energy auditors will be hired to deliver the program to participating communities. 

In the first two years of the program, 29 First Nation communities, including five remote communities, were selected to implement conservation measures to meet their energy needs. All First Nation communities across Ontario are encouraged to apply for the program’s third year. Unsuccessful applications from Years 1 and 2 will be included in evaluation for Year 3 eligibility. Up to 17 communities will be selected to participate from the applications received. Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2015. 

Residents in participating communities will have an opportunity to work with a certified energy auditor, who will recommend electricity-saving measures based on an assessment of their homes. These measures could include ENERGY STAR® CFL light bulbs, smart power bars, hot water tank wrap and pipe insulation, efficient showerheads and faucet aerators, as well as block heater timers, programmable thermostats, and attic, wall and/or basement insulation. Eligible businesses and facilities can receive assessments for their lighting and water-heating systems, up to $1,500 in energy-efficient lighting and equipment upgrades and gain access to further incentives. 

Aboriginal peoples living off-reserve, including Métis peoples, will continue to be eligible for saveONenergy conservation initiatives delivered by their local electric utilities. 


“Over the last two years, the ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM has helped to create local jobs and to reduce electricity costs and consumption in First Nation communities. I encourage all communities to apply.”

-- David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“The ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM continues to help communities maximize conservation and manage electricity costs while supporting a cleaner environment. We continue to encourage innovative efforts to put conservation first.”

-- Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy

“The IESO is proud of its collaboration with First Nations and Métis communities across the province. Significant energy savings have been achieved by the communities participating in the first two years of the program. We hope the other First Nation communities will apply to participate in the third year of the program.”

-- Bruce Campbell, CEO of the IESO

For more information:

Toll Free: 1-855-445-0202

About the IESO 

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs, and works with its partners to guide conservation efforts. A not-for-profit entity established by the Government of Ontario, IESO fees and licences to operate are set by the Ontario Energy Board. On January 1, 2015 the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) amalgamated with the IESO. 

About First Nations Engineering Services Limited 

First Nations Engineering Services Ltd. is a 100-percent Aboriginal owned engineering company that has been providing professional services relating to municipal and community infrastructure since 1995. It is acting as the program manager for the ABORIGINAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM on behalf of the IESO. 

Media Contact: 

John Cannella, IESO: 416-969-6307 / Toll Free: 1-800-797-9604

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