The Homalco First Nation is implementing a community energy plan to promote efficient energy consumption and savings, supported by a $140,000 equity investment from the Province.
Funding is provided through B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF), which supports Indigenous communities in their efforts to pursue clean-energy projects. The FNCEBF supports CleanBC, the Province’s plan to build a cleaner future that creates opportunities for all British Columbians while protecting B.C.’s clean air, land and water.
Working in collaboration with Naut’sa Mawt Tribal Council, the Nation will address energy consumption and look to implement efficiency standards in community and public buildings. The energy plan will also identify “champions” in the community to help drive change.
Homalco First Nation will participate in specific BC Hydro programs to roll out the energy-efficiency initiatives, focusing on things such as low-energy light bulbs and appliances, and applying weather stripping and insulation in buildings.
The community energy plan was complete in 2018 and implementation has begun.
The 2018 First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund also provided funds to six other First Nations to prioritize clean-energy equity projects in their communities. A total of $2.1 million in additional funding was granted to:
- Westbank First Nation – $150,000 to build a rooftop solar farm to demonstrate the viability of clean energy;
- Dzawada’enuxw First Nation – $500,000 to create a hydropower project to reduce its reliance on diesel power generation;
- Ehattesaht First Nation – $500,000 to purchase equity in a run-of-river hydroelectricity plant, enabling the Nation to purchase additional units and reduce debt;
- West Moberly Frist Nation – $150,000 to help fund a biomass conversion project to heat the Twin Sister Native Plants Nursery;
- Tsilhqot’in National Government – $300,000 to support the redevelopment of an industrial brownfield into a solar farm; and
- Hesquiaht First Nations – $500,000 for construction of a hydropower plant to reduce the use of diesel generators.
The FNCEBF also provided a combined $250,000 in capacity funding to seven First Nations to support clean-energy strategy and planning.
Applications for the next First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund intake will be accepted until the end of May 2019.
Chief Darren Blaney, Homalco First Nation –
“Homalco has been interested in becoming a more energy-efficient community and reducing energy costs for our community members. Funding from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund has supported this initiative through energy audits for community buildings and households, implementing energy efficiencies in the Homalco Administration Building, Cultural Centre and Health Centre, as well as making recommendations to our residents that will help to reduce household energy consumption and make homes more energy efficient.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“First Nations are moving forward with greener alternatives, such as solar, in meeting their energy needs. This work is an important part of our CleanBC strategy and supports self-determination. All of us in every area of the province have an important part to play in putting B.C. on a path that powers our future with clean, renewable energy and reduces air pollution.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“Whether solar, wind or other clean-energy sources, the replacement of diesel generation with clean energy through these projects will help us use less fossil fuels while generating new economic activity, new jobs and building our clean economy. It’s important that the opportunities of our CleanBC plan are accessible to all British Columbians. That’s how rural and Indigenous communities can share in a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future.”
Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources –
“The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund helps to bring ideas, vision and innovation to reality to meet CleanBC goals. By transitioning to cleaner electricity options, Indigenous communities can become more energy efficient, while creating local jobs and economic opportunities.”
- The total annual budget is approximately $7.74 million for the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund for 2019-20.
- Since 2010, more than 110 First Nations have benefited from more than $10 million in capacity and equity funding.
- The B.C. First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund provides equity funding to First Nations, up to $500,000 for clean-energy projects, up to $150,000 in equity funding toward community energy projects (energy-efficiency, demand-side management and small fuel-switching projects) and capacity funding up to $50,000.
- Capacity funding supports community energy planning, feasibility studies for developing clean-energy projects or engagement with private-sector clean-energy project proponents.
Provincewide news release and backgrounder information: http://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019IRR0004-000382
Westbank First Nation: https://www.homalco.com/
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund: http://ow.ly/JPz530apMVd