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Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program

Please note: Due to high demand, CERRC will no longer be accepting applications effective September 15, 2023, for:

  • Clean Energy for Remote and Rural Communities – Capacity Building projects 
  • Clean Energy for Remote and Rural Communities – Deployment of renewable energy projects

There are currently more projects under review than available funding. Projects submitted to these funding streams prior to September 15, 2023, will be added to a waitlist and considered for funding should funds be made available.  

CERRC is still accepting applications under the following:

  • Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities – Biomass heating, district heating, and combined heat and power systems
  • Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities – Research, Development, and Demonstration projects

If you are unsure which stream your application fits within, please submit a contact form below and we will be in touch to discuss. Please continue to visit this website for further updates.

We are committed to improving access to federal funding and resources in Indigenous, rural and remote communities for clean energy projects.

To learn more about the types of projects we’re funding, who can apply and how we’re working, visit Clean energy for Indigenous, rural and remote communities.

Get in touch to apply for funding

Contact us to share more about your community’s vision, idea or project. You can submit a contact form through the link below or request an application by email.

Submit a contact form

There is no deadline to apply. We review applications on an ongoing basis subject to available funds.

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About the program

The Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program provides funding for renewable energy and capacity building projects and related energy efficiency measures in Indigenous, rural and remote communities across Canada.

The program is working to reduce the use of fossil fuels for heating and electricity by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. This creates environmental, social and economic benefits to support healthier and more sustainable communities.

Investing in clean energy solutions in Indigenous communities is a small but important link to energy security, reconciliation, self-determination and economic development for Indigenous Peoples.

Changing how we work to support community priorities

To improve community access to federal clean energy funding and resources, multiple departments are changing how we work.

What does this mean for applicants?

  • One application that you can submit for either CERRC or the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity program (REACHE), available on the Clean energy for Indigenous, rural and remote communities website
  • Simplified project reporting
  • More flexible Terms + Conditions
  • An Indigenous Council to guide our work starting in fall 2022
  • On-going conversations and information sessions to improve program delivery and work towards Indigenous Climate Leadership

Previously funded projects

Launched in 2018, the CERRC program was allocated $220 million over 8 years to reduce diesel reliance for heat and power in Indigenous and remote communities. The program has supported 111 projects nationally, including capacity building initiatives, large capital projects, innovation projects, and bioheat projects. Want to learn more about what type of projects CERRC has funded? Check out the list of currently funded projects.

NRCan’s Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative supports 14 Indigenous clean energy champions and their communities and has provided over $28 million for community clean energy planning, engagement, and implementing projects. This initiative is delivered in collaboration with the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and the Pembina Institute.

Background about diesel use in rural and remote communities

Rural and remote communities that are not connected to the North American electricity grid often use diesel and fossil fuels to generate heat and power. Using fossil fuels for heat and power is expensive and has an impact on the environment, including air quality.

Energy efficiency and conservation measures can help to reduce overall demand for fossil fuels, create warmer, healthier homes and provide savings to communities. Cost savings can enable communities to invest in other community-driven priorities. Local renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro or biomass can replace diesel, reduce environmental and health impacts, and create local economic opportunities.

Find out which energy sources are used by rural and remote communities by visiting the Atlas of Canada - Remote Communities Energy Database.

Definition of rural and remote communities

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.


If you are a project lead or team member working with NRCan on clean energy projects in Indigenous, rural and remote communities, email us to join the regular networking events at the Clean Energy Circle.

Learn more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are currently funded by CERRC.

Contact Us

Sign-up for our mailing list to receive program updates and learn about upcoming events. Email us at

Stay connected

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