Note: The most recent RCI funding application round closed March 15, 2013. Thanks to all applicants.
Remote communities in British Columbia are eligible to apply for funding through the Remote Community Implementation (RCI) initiative.
A “remote community” is defined as either a civic or First Nation government with existing permanent residences that are within a BC Hydro Non-Integrated Area or not connected to the major natural gas or electric grid. Communities served by local generating stations and distribution networks in BC Hydro's Non-Integrated Areas are also included as eligible remote communities under this program.
There are approximately 59 remote communities identified in British Columbia, and roughly half are First Nations communities: see list of communities. Since this list is changed periodically, please check with us if you are uncertain if your community is considered a remote community for the purpose of this initiative.
Focus Areas for Funding
Eligible communities are invited to submit proposals that target a minimum of 25% community-wide GHG reductions and that can apply funding towards project implementation in the following focus areas:
- Community-scale or building-scale clean energy projects that use hydropower, bioenergy, wind, solar, diesel-battery hybrid or ocean energy technologies, or clean energy technologies using waste or by-product streams; or
- Community-scale or building-scale clean energy heating projects that use solar, biomass, geo-exchange or air source heating; or
- Integrated smart grid, clean energy and demand side management projects.
Project Eligibility Criteria
Project proposals must meet the following mandatory criteria in order to be eligible for RCI Program funding:
- The applicant submits a completed application form providing all requested information
- The applicant is an “Eligible Applicant”
- The Project implements clean energy infrastructure (see above section “Focus Areas for Funding”) to reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels in heating and/or power generation:
- A Major Project, requesting $45,000 to $300,000 in funding from FBC, must be designed to significantly reduce fossil fuel power generation in the community (except for back-up purposes). Major projects must target a community-wide GHG emissions reduction of 40% or greater.
- A Minor Project, requesting up to $45,000 in funding from FBC, must be designed to reduce community-wide GHG emissions by at least 25%.
- The proponent has completed a Community Energy Plan that includes the community’s objectives related to energy, information on the current and future energy demand in the community and an evaluation of clean energy project options, and that identifies the proposed project as the most suitable option for implementation.
- The Project is in the final stages of project development, either construction-ready or near the stage of construction, and major projects will be completed construction no later than March 31, 2015.
- The proponent of a clean energy project must have completed feasibility studies and preliminary design (such that suppliers are able to provide accurate quotes for project implementation) and, if applicable, have initiated the permitting process.
- The applicant’s funding request is for Eligible Costs (defined below).
- The Project leverages additional funding from other sources, including from the community itself.
Additional Evaluation Criteria
Project proposals that meet the above mandatory criteria will then be evaluated according to the following additional evaluation criteria:
- The extent of the Project’s alignment with the community’s Community Energy Plan, energy policies and broader community objectives
- The technical and operational feasibility of the project
- The Project work plan, budget and allocated resources (people and funding)
- The presence of a community champion for the Project and of strong partnerships
- The strength of the project team and the planned project management
- The life-cycle environmental benefits of the project, including GHG emissions reductions
- The Project’s ability to contribute to the community’s economic sustainability (e.g., supporting local businesses, local employment, revenue generation that remains in the community)
- The Project’s ability to support the development of a low carbon economy in BC
- The Project’s stage in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) process (if applicable)
- The potential for experience or knowledge from the Project to be shared with other communities
- The Project’s key risks and risk management strategies.
Capital costs related to the implementation of clean energy projects (as noted in the above Focus Areas for Funding section) are eligible for funding under RCI. Examples of eligible costs could include (but are not limited to):
- Equipment and material purchases required for clean energy technology installation
- Capital and construction costs for clean energy systems and/or
- Detailed engineering design for clean energy or energy efficiency projects.
Examples of ineligible costs include:
- Community energy planning
- Policy development
- Feasibility or research studies
- Provincial or federal sales taxes
- Property taxes
- Repairs to existing systems
- Energy efficiency improvement costs that are already covered by existing provincial and federal programs
- Purchase of land and
If you have questions regarding your eligibility for funding, please contact Jim Vanderwal.
Photo (top inset) courtesy of Taku River Tlingit First Nation