Energy Ambassadors: Rethinking Consultation for Energy Infrastructure Projects

By Richard Carlson, Director, Energy Exchange

The energy system is changing, and new energy infrastructure is needed across Canada. Communities will be faced with new kinds of infrastructure developments in their backyard that residents have not encountered before, and that they don’t understand. To reduce tensions, effective community engagement, before a project is in the regulated consultation space, is essential for building sustainable energy systems in Canada.

But communities need the capacity to engage. Without this capacity, meaningful engagement is out of reach. When faced with an energy infrastructure project, communities need to understand the parts of the energy system that are relevant to them, and understand how they can participate. And this needs to happen early in the process, before a project – and community opinions – are finalized.

Energy Ambassadors: Early Engagement

Building on Energy Exchange’s leadership in energy literacy in Canada, we have launched the Energy Ambassadors Program.

This program seeks to improve the pre-engagement process of energy infrastructure development, and to help communities understand the context and the project itself through community workshops. This program will support communities to meaningfully participate in the consultation process.

Energy Ambassadors is seeking communities to pilot the program in 2018 and early 2019.

Eligible communities should have an upcoming energy infrastructure project that will be in the interest-test or pre-regulatory phase of the proposed energy infrastructure project in 2018-19. Learn more

Benefits to the Community

  • Free capacity-building engagement, led by energy experts.
  • Assistance to the community to support effective engagement.
  • Education on the energy system, based on our popular Primer on Energy Systems in Canada, 2nd Edition.

Quick Facts

  • The initial pilot project is planned for early 2018. Additional pilots are also planned for late 2018 and early 2019.
  • There is no cost to participate in the program.
  • Council endorsement of the pilot or the project is not required. Energy Ambassadors is a capacity-building program, not an endorsement of any particular project.
  • Free capacity-building engagement, led by energy experts.
  • Assistance to the community to support effective engagement.
  • Education on the energy system, based on our popular Primer on Energy Systems in Canada, 2nd Edition.
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Join the pilot!

Are you interested in hosting an Energy Ambassadors pilot for your community or infrastructure project? Let us know!

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