Capacity Building Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What communities are considered ‘rural’ or ‘remote’?
  2. Does the program only apply to reductions in diesel fuel?
  3. What is the intent of this Call for Preliminary Proposals for the Capacity Building stream?
  4. I submitted a Project Concept Questionnaire. Should I submit a Call for Preliminary Proposals?
  5. How does the Call for Preliminary Proposals work?
  6. How do you decide which proposals will be invited to submit a formal project proposal?
  7. Will I be considered for funding after I submit my preliminary proposal?
  8. How many proposals will receive funding?
  9. What is the timeline for submitting a preliminary proposal?
  10. What are the eligible expenditures for my project?
  11. I have a renewable energy project that I am submitting to the demonstration/deployment/bioheat stream and would like to request capacity building funding to support the project, should I fill out a preliminary proposal?
  12. Is my organization eligible for funding?
  13. What do you mean by “research associations”? Are academic research institutions eligible proponents?
  14. Can I submit multiple proposals?
  15. What if I want to develop a new curriculum? Are new curriculum or new training programs eligible?
  16. Do you have tips for filling out the Preliminary Proposal?
  17. You mentioned a range of funding per project ($100,000 – $300,000). Is $100,000 the minimum?
  18. My preliminary proposal has more than one possible stream. Which should I select?
  19. In section 2.4, you refer to “alignment with objectives.” What are the objectives?
  20. What activities fall under ‘Community Energy Planning or Community Energy Literacy?
  21. In Section 3.9 you ask if I want my information to be shared with other organizations? What does this mean?

1. What communities are considered ‘rural’ or ‘remote’?

A1. “Rural community” is defined as a community with a population of less than 5,000 people and a population density of less than 400 persons per square kilometre and not connected to the North American piped natural gas network.

“Remote community” refers to a community not currently connected to the North American electrical grid or the piped natural gas network and is a permanent or long-term (5 years or more) settlement with at least 10 dwellings. 

2. Does the program only apply to reductions in diesel fuel?

A2.Preliminary proposals related to remote communities should focus on reducing diesel use related to electricity generation.

Preliminary proposals related to rural communities should focus on reducing diesel or other fossil fuels  related to heating.

3. What is the intent of this Call for Preliminary Proposals for the Capacity Building stream?

A3. Under this call, your project idea must contribute to the achievement of the Program’s objective of “Supporting community-level capacity building that will increase clean energy opportunities, including renewables and energy efficiency, and contribute to reducing diesel reliance in rural and/or remote communities.”

Other objectives of the program include:

  • Contribute to clean energy jobs, knowledge, or skills development;
  • Increase community involvement in rural and remote clean energy projects/activities;
  • Increase institutional capacity regarding renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy literacy for rural and remote communities;
  • Improve energy literacy in rural and remote communities, and/or
  • Contribute to other community priorities, such as addressing the impacts of climate change or enhancing community health and well-being.

Your project’s alignment with the Program’s objectives must be clearly stated in the application form.

4. I submitted a Project Concept Questionnaire. Should I submit a Call for Preliminary Proposals?

A4. Yes, all respondents to the Project Concept Questionnaire must submit a Call for Preliminary Proposals.

5. How does the Call for Preliminary Proposals work?

A5. In this two-stage process, applicants are invited to provide a preliminary proposal (five pages maximum), outlining a project idea using the template provided. Based on a review of the submissions received, a limited number of applicants will be invited to expand their preliminary proposals into formal project proposals for assessment and possible funding. Invited proposals will represent a suite of project ideas that exhibit regional distribution, Indigenous participation, community-driven approaches, and various levels of capacity and readiness.

6. How do you decide which proposals will be invited to submit a formal project proposal?

A6. NRCan will invite organizations to submit a format project proposed based on:

  1. Their alignment with the program assessment criteria, which seeks to support and prioritize projects that:
    • Are led by an Indigenous organization, and/or show evidence that they are driven by Indigenous communities;
    • Have strong, demonstrable and/or long-standing relationships and experience with participating communities;
    • Clearly describe the potential impact of the project and how the impact will be maintained after the project;
    • Build Indigenous champions and leaders in the communities and through (co)management of the project;
    • Link the project’s impact to a larger community/regional vision;
    • Have identified partners, including regional partners, with confirmed in-kind and/or financial support.
  2. The proposed locations, levels of capacity, and types of activities represented in the ensemble preliminary proposals received; and
  3. The annual available funding within NRCan.

7. Will I be considered for funding after I submit my preliminary proposal?

A7. The preliminary proposal itself is not considered an application for funding. Natural Resources Canada will use preliminary proposals to do a comparative initial review to determine which project ideas will make up the suite of projects that will best meet the objectives of the program. A limited number of applicants will be invited to submit formal project proposals for funding consideration. Funding decisions will then be made based on an assessment of complete application packages.

8. How many proposals will receive funding?

A8. Depending on the proposals received, NRCan may fund any number of full proposals, or none, up to the maximum funding available. It is anticipated that the average total funding for a project will be between approximately $100,000 and $300,000, with variation based on the size, scope, timeline and leveraged funding. Project applications that are below or above this funding range will still be considered.

9. What is the timeline for submitting a preliminary proposal?

A9. To be considered in the first round of funding (for an invitation to submit a full proposal for 2019-2020 funding) your preliminary proposal must be submitted by March 29th, 2019 (23:59 EDT) to nrcan.remoteenergy-energieadistance.rncan@canada.ca. Successful preliminary proposals will be invited to submit formal full proposals late April 2019. Funding is expected to be available and finalized between summer and early fall 2019.

10. What are the eligible expenditures for my project?

A10. Eligible expenditures can include:

  • Salaries and benefits for time spent on the project by employees on the payroll of the organization;
  • Salaries and benefits related to administrative and corporate support provided directly to the project by a further recipient’s employee(s), valued on the same basis as professional staff time;
  • Professional, scientific, technical and contracting services;
  • Travel expenditures, including meals and accommodation (based on National Joint Council Rates);
  • Capital expenditures such as the purchase, installation, testing and commissioning of qualifying equipment, materials and products, including diagnostic and testing tools and instruments ;
  • Other expenditures related to a launch and management of a call for proposals or selection of projects (actual cost of reasonable and justifiable administrative expenditures), as part of proposed project activities;
  • Other expenses including:
    • Field supplies, and materials;
    • Printing services and translation;
    • Data collection services, including processing, analysis and management;
    • Facility expenses for seminars, conference room rentals etc. (excluding hospitality);
    • License fees and permits; and
    • Field-testing services.
  • Overhead expenditures directly related to the project, to a maximum of 15% of total expenditures.
    • Routine laboratory and field equipment maintenance, based on the actual expenditure
    • Facility expenses for seminars, conference room rentals, etc. (excluding hospitality)
    • Office operating expenses directly related to the conduct of the project (e.g. faxes, telephone, photocopies).
  • In accordance with the departmental GST/PST/HST certification form, the reimbursable Provincial Sales Tax (PST), the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) costs must be net of any tax rebate to which the Recipient is entitled.

11. I have a renewable energy project that I am submitting to the demonstration/deployment/bioheat stream and would like to request capacity building funding to support the project, should I fill out a preliminary proposal?

A11. No. Capacity building activities that are related to a specific project (e.g. training for a wind technician to manage a wind deployment project) are not eligible for the capacity building stream, but are eligible activities for a project proposal to NRCan’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Deployment, Demonstration or Bioheat streams. Please include information about the capacity building needed to support your project in your proposal to the Deployment/Demonstration/Bioheat streams.

12. Is my organization eligible for funding?

A12. Eligible recipients must be legal entities incorporated or registered in Canada, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as utilities or regional and community development corporations, governments, and Indigenous organizations. To be eligible, you must be able to respond to each requirement and, where stipulated, provide supporting documentation. Organizations that do not meet the minimum eligibility requirements may choose to partner with another organization that does meet all of the eligibility requirements.

13. What do you mean by “research associations”? Are academic research institutions eligible proponents?

A13: Research associations, academic institutions, and research centres are all eligible recipients.

14. Can I submit multiple proposals?

A14: Yes. NRCan will review multiple proposals from the same applicant. However, multiple projects that are related to, or build off each other, should be submitted as one application.

15. What if I want to develop a new curriculum? Are new curriculum or new training programs eligible?

A15. If you have an idea for new curriculum or a new training program, please do submit a preliminary proposal. Please note that our program funding is for up to six years, ending March 31, 2024. Projects must be feasible within this timeframe.

16. Do you have tips for filling out the Preliminary Proposal?

A16. Sections 1 and 2 of all preliminary proposals should not exceed 5 pages and must include (see template):

  • Organization name and contact information
  • Project Information (timeline, total cost, funding amount requested)
  • Project Overview
  • Rationale for the Project and Community Interest/Stakeholder Interest
  • Alignment with Program Objectives
  • Delivery Plan and Community Involvement
  • Applicant Experience and Partners

Note: The notes page with instructions (first page of the Preliminary Proposal Template), Section 3 (Signed declaration), Section 4 (Assessment Criteria – for reference only), and any additional appendices (optional) do not count towards the 5-page limit.

Be clear, focused, and demonstrate support and interest for your project.

17. You mentioned a range of funding per project ($100,000 – 300,000). Is $100,000 the minimum?

A17. No. This range is an estimate. Projects of all values and sizes may apply and they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

18. My preliminary proposal has more than one possible stream. Which should I select?

A18. Your proposal may relate to multiple streams, but the Program requests that you select the stream that best describes your project’s central activities.

19. In section 2.4, you refer to “alignment with objectives.” What are the objectives?

A19. Under this call, your project idea must contribute to: supporting community-level capacity building that will increase clean energy opportunities, including renewables and energy efficiency, and contribute to reducing diesel reliance in rural and/or remote communities.

Secondary objectives include:

  • Contribute to clean energy jobs, knowledge, or skills development;
  • Increase community involvement in rural and remote clean energy projects/activities;
  • Increase institutional capacity regarding renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy literacy for rural and remote communities;
  • Improve energy literacy in rural and remote communities, and/or;
  • Contribute to other community priorities, such as addressing the impacts of climate change or enhancing community health and well-being.

Your project’s alignment with the above goals must be clearly stated in the application form.

20. What activities fall under ‘Community Energy Planning or Community Energy Literacy?

A20. The program is interested in preliminary proposals related to the development of community energy plans or community energy literacy for rural and remote communities, on a regional basis, that consider the full range of sustainable energy solutions to transition away from diesel, including renewables and energy efficiency. The program is interested in supporting organizations who could offer a regional approach, by developing energy plans with multiple communities across a region. Pre-project development assistance must have:

  1. Active and participatory community engagement as a core component of activities; and
  2. Community-driven workshops that occur near the start of the initiative and continue throughout the project period.

21. In Section 3.9 you ask if I want my information to be shared with other organizations? What does this mean?

A21. If you agree, NRCan may share this preliminary proposal and any other information provided as supplemental material as part of this response with other government departments who fund similar projects to determine if there might be a better fit. You may select some, all, or none of the other partners. If you do not check any boxes in this section, we will assume “no” for all of them and your information will not be shared.


For all other inquires please contact the program nrcan.remoteenergy-energieadistance.rncan@canada.ca.