In the News

Clean Energy Funding Available for Remote and First Nation Communities

 VANCOUVER – The New Relationship Trust (NRT) invites eligible remote and Indigenous communities across British Columbia to submit funding applications starting June 3, 2024, for community decarbonization projects through the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program, a CleanBC initiative.

 “Thanks to this integrated partnership between the Province of B.C., BC Hydro, and NRT, more and more communities that have been dependent on diesel as their primary source of community energy will be able to enjoy cleaner air, greater self-reliance, and a smaller carbon footprint—priorities we all share,” says Walter Schneider, CEO of NRT, which administers the program on behalf of the Province of B.C. and BC Hydro.

 The CEDR program supports diesel reduction initiatives in diesel-dependent remote communities, most of which are governed by First Nations. In 2019, B.C.’s remote communities used more than 19 million litres of diesel to meet their energy needs, resulting in emissions equivalent to 51,784 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

 “Developing clean energy and energy efficiencies are at the heart of our government’s plan for a clean low carbon future, and the Community Energy Diesel Reduction program allows us to support B.C.’s most remote communities to develop clean energy technologies and reduce their emissions,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “We will continue to build partnerships with First Nations as they forge their own path in the clean energy sector.” 

 Under the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program, eligible remote communities that rely on diesel fuel for electricity generation will have access to three funding streams to support the planning and implementation of projects to reduce community reliance on diesel:

  • Renewable Energy Generation (REG);
  • Community Energy Planning and Management (CEP); and
  • Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management Projects (DSM)

 Applicants to the REG stream will have until July 15, 2024, to finalize funding requests for up to $4M per remote community. New this year, applications to the CEP (to $95K) and DSM (up to $500K) streams will remain open until November 29, 2024, or until available funding has been allocated. 

 The CEDR Program was developed in 2022, in partnership with Coast Funds and the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation as part of the Ministry’s Remote Community Energy Strategy which aims to achieve the CleanBC goal of reducing diesel electricity generation and heating in remote communities by 80% by 2030. The Province of B.C. has invested $59 million to fund the CEDR program through 2028. 

 BC Hydro joined the CEDR program as a partner in 2023. Applicants in the non-integrated areas served by BC Hydro will now access energy efficiency incentives through the DSM stream of the CEDR program. 

 “At BC Hydro, our intention is to promote renewable energy, advance electrification and help our customers find ways to reduce overall energy demand and costs,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of 

BC Hydro. “We are committed to improving the accessibility of clean, reliable and affordable power in B.C.’s remote communities, and to helping British Columbians improve efficiency, comfort and functionality of their homes, so we can work together towards a more sustainable future for B.C.” 

To date, the CEDR program has awarded more than $12M in funding for diesel reduction measures in remote communities across B.C., including community energy planning, energy retrofits of residential and community buildings, and the development of renewable energy generation projects such as solar and hydropower. 

Learn more about the CEDR program application process. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and BC Hydro.

About New Relationship Trust

NRT has been dedicated to empowering First Nations in BC in their unique journeys toward self-determination and nationhood since 2006.

The NRT serves as a catalyst for capacity development transformation across First Nations in British Columbia through its funding pillars of Nation Building, Economic Development, Education, Language and Culture, and through strategic partnerships with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

An Indigenous-led, politically neutral and independent non-profit, the NRT was established with the passing of the New Relationship Trust Act and the transfer of $100 million from the Province of B.C.

Since then, NRT has flowed more than $101 million dollars to First Nations to support them in building resilient and thriving communities on their own terms. Thanks to prudent fiscal management, the initial capitalization has become a perpetual fund that will support First Nations into the future they choose to create for themselves.

CEDR Program Deadlines:

  • Online applications open June 3, 2024
  • Three application streams: o Renewable Energy Generation (REG) | max. $4M per community | Closes July 15, 2024
  • Community Energy Planning and Management (CEP) | max $95K | Closes November 29, 2024, or until funds are allocated
  • Energy Efficiency and Demand-side Management Projects (DSM) | max $500K | Closes November 29, 2024, or until funds are allocated


Media Contact: Marie Alaimo, Director of Operations 


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