GN’s environment minister looks to expand renewable energy program

David Akeeagok said his department has seen an uptick in applications, especially from cabin owners

Environment Minister David Akeeagok said along with expanding the funding to more cabin and homeowners looking to install renewable energy, his department is also looking at increasing the amount it provides some applicants with. (Photo by David Venn)

By Meral Jamal

Nunavut’s environment minister is looking to extend more renewable energy grants across the territory.  

David Akeeagok said his department is seeing an increasing number of applications for the Renewable Energy Homeowners Grant Program, especially from people seeking financial support to install solar panels in their cabins. 

Now in its second year, the program allows homeowners to receive up to $30,000 and cabin owners up to $5,000 for renewable energy that is installed into their homes.

“We need to find more funds to help those that own the cabins and that want to get into renewable [energy] resources,” Akeeagok told the legislative assembly on Thursday.

The Department of Environment received 107 cabin owner applications and five homeowner applications in the program’s first year, according to Akeeagok’s ministerial political adviser, Corenna Nuyalia.

Of these, 81 cabin owner applications and four homeowner applications were approved by the department. 

This year, the department has received 85 cabin applications and five homeowner applications to date. Of these, 66 cabin applications and three homeowner applications have been approved. The department is receiving roughly two to three cabin owner applications every two weeks.

“It could be estimated that the department is expecting between 20 and 30 more applications this year,” she said in an email.

“For the homeowner side of things, one or two new applications could be received.” 

Akeeagok said he’s not sure how his department will secure more money for the program, but there is the possibility of getting help from the federal government.

“The government of Canada is one of the biggest advocates to make sure that the provinces and territories reduce their carbon footprint and that’s one of the avenues that we are looking into,” he told Nunatsiaq News. 

Along with the goal of supporting people who are looking to install renewable energy, Akeeagok also wants to increase the amount of money some applicants get. 

“I think for the homeowner side with the lower intake, we definitely need to [see], is the amount too low? Is the return on investment for homeowners a lot longer than for cabin owners?” he said. 

“If we can increase [funding], especially for homeowners … and if we can start investing in those, [it’s] one area that I definitely want to look into.”

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nunavutmiut on

    With the 40% increase in energy bills, why don’t they offer this grant for homeowners?

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    • Posted by Please read past the headline on

      “Now in its second year, the program allows homeowners to receive up to $30,000….”

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  2. Posted by Art Thompson on

    Generally speaking cabins are not connected to the grid. There is no carbon footprint to be eliminated. Other than running a stove. So what are these funds for cabin applications being used for? Energy efficient windows? To run a single light bulb? Replace generator usage? Sounds a little sketchy.

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    • Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

      Some people have a CPAP ( for sleep apnea) machine which is a medical device which they need to sleep at night ; running a loud generator which is very disruptive and costly with the price of fuel and spewing exhaust into the environemt. Some people have died in their cabins using generators. Clean energy is much safer and free.
      People use their cabins for hunting, fishing, harvesting berries etc. it is a way of life up here and supplements the community with healthy country food and is good mental health as well to be out there.

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    • Posted by Cabin owner Arviat on

      It’s obvious you don’t own a cabin or spend very little time in one. The oil stoves use more fuel then your boiler or furnace. To operate a generator 24/7 is expensive on gas. Not to montion the frequent oil changes. Plus the noise of them. A solar system very much reduced our diesel, gas, naptha, propane and motor oil usage. Plus the risk of spills dracticlly is reduced. Just cause you don’t understand, doesn’t make this program sketchy.

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      • Posted by Igunaaqi on

        Bunch of brainwashed liberals! Carbon tax is a scam, earth has a cycle of it’s own. Just think about the ice age, I think it’s just due for warmer temperatures.

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        • Posted by Bert Rose on

          You are wrong. My appologies but wrong assumptions are dangerous for humanities future.

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    • Posted by Bert Rose on

      Not being connected to the grid does not mean they are not producing green house gasses.
      Many cabin owners are running generators which are hour by hour producing gasses from deisel, gasoline I r even naphtha or kerosene.

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  3. Posted by Lefty on

    Program only helps the rich double income earners and does nothing for renters in public housing

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  4. Posted by nh on

    The federal government remits the carbon tax back to Nunavut. This would be a good way to invest it.

  5. Posted by Rambohunt on

    My old skidoo need change spark plug all the time dirty gas and smokes as hell and stinks Louder than loud and burns lots of gas. Two stroke oil burner on steroids makes smoke blue. I need new clean skidoo burn gas clean a four stroke .but no money for hunters to change old skidoo so burn gas like hell .
    From unhappy hunter.

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  6. Posted by Stephen C. on

    Interesting… Good work happening up there.

    And in the field of politics the CBC’s story of China interfering in our elections a bit more light can be shed on the story.

    The genocide claimed to be happening over there has been researched in depth by Brian Berletic, can be found on the news program The New Atlas. It is Interesting to read and hear the news from reporters who take their work seriously.

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  7. Posted by Cheskey on

    Geothermal is something that could be given more attention research. At depth there is heat generated from the pressure of the weight of the land, we do not hear much of geothermal. If it works it would be steady, unlike wind and sun generated.

    • Posted by Bert Rose on

      QEC studied the potential for geothermal heat sources across Nunavut about five years ago

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