Clean Energy in Indigenous Rural Communities

$300M Top-Up for Clean Energy Projects in Indigenous and Rural Communities

With many Canadian Indigenous, rural, and remote communities relying on high green-house gas (GHG) emission fuel sources for heat and power, such as diesel or fossil fuels, this has created a negative impact on the surrounding communities and the environment. This is why Natural Resources Canada Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program (CERRC) and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Energy program (Northern REACHE) have teamed up to create the Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural, and Remote Communities Fund.

A recent top-up of $300 million has been made available through this program until 2027 to help fund eligible clean energy projects.

This program is directly related to the Canadian federal governments goal of transitioning the country to net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as working together towards reconciliation. These projects can help advance Indigenous-led climate action, support local economic development and create skilled jobs while reducing pollution and improving air quality.

An Indigenous Council will be formed that will guide the programming and project approval process. This new approach is anticipated to be fully operational by the fall of 2022. The Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural, and Remote Communities Fund program is made possible in collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), Infrastructure Canada (INFC), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

Program Snapshot: Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural, and Remote Communities Fund

This program aims to support eligible applicants through the following areas of focus:

  • Indigenous, rural and remote areas that use fossil fuels for heat or power, including Northern and Arctic regions and industrial sites
  • Prioritize Indigenous-owned or led projects, or projects with community partnerships
  • Support for all project stages and a variety of technology types

Funding Amount

This program has no set maximum amount of funding per project. The Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural, and Remote Communities program has a combined total of $300 million available until 2027 towards funding clean energy projects.

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible to receive funding through this program, all eligible applicants must be one or more of the following:

  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, governments, development corporations and organizations;
  • Canadian businesses and not-for-profit organizations; or
  • Provincial, territorial, regional, or municipal government organizations.

Eligible Activities

All eligible projects must fall within one of the four following categories:

Renewable Energy Technologies

  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Hydropower
  • Energy storage
  • Innovative technologies (e.g. grid modernization, ocean energy, hydrogen)

Capacity Building

  • Training, skills, and curriculum development
  • Energy coordinators
  • Energy literacy
  • Energy planning
  • Workshops, events, and engagement
  • Research and feasibility studies

Energy Efficiency

  • Building upgrades and retrofits
  • Measures like LED lights and efficient equipment
  • Emerging technologies
  • Energy audits


  • Biomass heating, district heating, and combined heat and power systems
  • Biomass supply chains
  • Geothermal
  • Solar thermal

Apply for Clean Tech Funding

The Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural, and Remote Communities program will be open until funds are exhausted or until 2027. The Canadian federal and provincial governments have many more funding programs available to businesses with eligible Clean Tech projects. A list of these programs can be found on our Clean Tech Grants and Funding Program Directory page.

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