Aroland First Nation
Community Energy Planning
Aroland community leaders were hoping to uncover the next steps for improving the security and reliability of energy sources and reducing the community’s energy costs. The community had received funding from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator through the Energy Partnerships Program to complete an energy plan within two years. Upon completion, further funding opportunities would be available to implement that plan and explore other energy solutions.
Our work began by sparking the community’s buy-in to the creation of an energy plan and their input into the process. We reached out to the community by publishing information in community newsletters and various social media channels to solicit their contribution and keep them up to date on the project. As community members came forward we performed a baseline assessment of community demographics and energy use by performing a review of their utility statements and interviews with key informants familiar with the community’s position.
We worked with a small group of individuals from within Aroland to conduct energy assessments of sample representative residences and commercial buildings. This process was intended to look beyond just the requirements of the energy plan and provide the community with the information and skills needed to internally perform more exhaustive energy assessments in the future.
We then looked outward to research current projects that were being carried out with success in communities that were similar to Aroland. We also engaged with professionals in the energy sector to understand feasible opportunities. Through various discussions in the community we identified the key areas of need, priority and opportunity to inform and shape a final implementation plan.
We helped community leaders identify challenges with the current construction and operation of their infrastructure that had implications for energy usage that could be reduced when addressed. Our team developed opportunities for training and capacity development by which Aroland could manage future energy assessments internally. We addressed systemic issues of energy reliability and evaluated sustainable energy options to meet the present and future needs of a growing community in a changing natural and economic environment.
2015 – 2016
We helped community leaders identify challenges with the current construction and operation of their infrastructure that had implications for energy usage that could be reduced when addressed.
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