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The Hamlet of Kugaaruk

Community Energy Plan and Community Engagement Plan


Being a remote Arctic community, the importance of an actionable Community Energy Plan (CEP) for the Hamlet of Kugaaruk is a high priority (for the community). 

The Hamlet of Kugaaruk is located on the southwest shore of the Simpson Peninsula where the Kugaaruk River enters St. Peters Bay, south of the Gulf of Boothia, in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.

Regions of Nunavut (with Kugaaruk Identified)

Kugaaruk currently relies almost exclusively on diesel and gasoline to meet its energy needs.  This, in combination with harsh Arctic conditions and the high cost of energy make reducing energy consumption and implementing cleaner sources of energy a high priority.

Other energy sources for the community include electricity, heating fuel, Gasoline, and motive diesel (for the operation of vehicles and equipment).

The vision is to create a community energy plan that will help move Kugaaruk toward a future less reliant on diesel and create a better future for their environment and children.

In keeping with the community’s values and priorities, the goals of the energy plan are to:

  • Assist the community to understand its current energy use and costs;

  • Create strategies to increase energy efficiency and conservation;

  • Explore renewable energy opportunities; And

  • Further reduce energy costs and GHG emissions through programs and activities;

Our team (CIPS) partnered with the community of Kugaaruk and Indigenous Clean Energy to develop a comprehensive Community Energy Plan which will help the community of Kugaaruk achieve its energy goals and vision. 

Community Engagement:

Kugaaruk community engagement played a huge role in the direction of the Community Energy Plan (CEP). Through the development of this CEP, community feedback was incorporated into the plan.

The following community engagement strategies were implemented to garner as much community feedback as possible.

2 Radio Shows

Radio Show #1: May 19, 2021 - This radio engagement session provided general information on the process and benefits the development of the community energy plan will provide for the Hamlet

Radio Show #2: June 2, 2021 – Solar Energy: This session provided information on solar energy, including the technology and benefits associated with it.

In Person Community Engagement Sessions

June 14 – 16 2021: Hosted in person sessions during the week to discuss all components of the Community Energy Plan (CEP) as well as facilitate any community energy questionnaire completions for residents.

Kugaaruk's Clean Energy Manager Engaging with Community Elders

Community Energy Questionnaire

May 15, 2021 – June 25, 2021: As part of the CEP development process, a Community Energy Questionnaire was completed to engage residents and help determine their thoughts on energy use within the community.  The questionnaire was completed by 49 eligible participants from separate households, representing just under 20% of the Hamlet’s residential sector.

Survey developed to understand residents of the Hamlet energy use, vision and goals.

Hamlet Community Review

Sept, 2021: Hamlet of Kugaaruk Council reviewed a summary of the findings of the Community Energy Plan (CEP).

Project Results:

The CEP (community energy plan) identified areas that the Community of Kugaaruk can use to help improve energy consumption while reducing overall costs.

In addition, Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS) developed the CEP while keeping the goals and values of the community top of mind (which were drawn from the 2016 Community Economic Development plan) which include:

  • Preserving the traditional knowledge of the community so that the culture and land-based skills of community members are kept for future generations;

  • Encouraging collaboration and cohesiveness through community celebrations and events;

  • Supporting economic growth by fostering support for small business development in the community;

  • Increasing interaction among Elders and Youth to maintain cultural connection and knowledge; and

  • Increasing education and training opportunities for community members.

These goals and values encompass the community as a whole, and are not specific to just energy. In general, the people of Kugaaruk see the future in a positive way and want to see the creation of local employment and infrastructure to support development, while maintaining the traditional cultural values and land-based skills. 

With these core values and goals in mind, Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS) developed a dynamic community energy plan designed to help the community of Kugaaruk work towards a cleaner, less reliant energy future for the benefit of the people of Kugaaruk and the surrounding natural environment.

Using a sound community engagement plan, CIPS used the feedback from the community to help drive the Community Energy Plan. Each engagement session resulted in valuable feedback from the community and Elders which helped anchor the vision for Kugaaruks Community Energy Plan.

The result is a dynamic Community Energy Plan that not only identifies the steps needed for Kugaaruk to become less reliant on diesel but also, to combine the core values and goals of the community with the types of energy needed to become self-reliant and sustainable for future generations.

One of the main outcomes of the Kugaaruk Community Energy Plan (CEP) was the recommendation to develop and deliver a Community-Wide Retrofit Program for residential homes. Due to the remoteness of the community, costs associated with completing energy retrofit activities are significantly higher than in their southern counterparts.

Completing activities in bulk can help to reduce these costs by allowing travel costs to be shared amongst multiple participants, reducing the costs associated with the transportation of materials, and other discounts associated with bulk purchases.

During the development of Kugaaruks Community Energy Plan (CEP), Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (through its project partner – Summerhill Inc.) completed 25 residential energy audits within the community (commercial audits and training activities were also conducted, but fall outside of the scope of the Community-Wide Retrofit Program).

Related: Classifying Energy Projects for First Nations Communitites

These audits were completed as a sample to help understand energy characteristics and potential retrofit potential within community buildings.

These results were used to help form the basis of the Community-Wide Retrofit Program, including the identification of which retrofit activities make the most sense financially (have the biggest return on investment), which retrofit activities are the most applicable (i.e. needed by the highest percentage of the community), and estimated total costs to complete these types of retrofits within the community.

Identification of funding sources to complete energy retrofit activities were also identified, such as Indigenous Off Diesel Initiative (IODI Phase 3), Natural Resources Canada's (NRCAN) Greener Homes Program, and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) funding.

Please note that due to the rules of the Greener Homes Program, the installation of residential solar PV net-metering systems is also included as a retrofit measure within the Community-Wide Retrofit Program.

Location: Hamlet of Kugaaruk (located on the southwest shore of the Simpson Peninsula)

Project Completion Date: July 2022 Related: Community Energy Planning for First Nations: The Fundamentals

Increasing The Importance Of Energy In First Nation Priorities

IESO Energy Support Programs for Indigenous Communities

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