Supporting your journey to a more sustainable future

Community Energy Fund

ATCO is committed to meeting the needs of a new and exciting energy future, which is why we have established the Community Energy Fund to help municipalities, schools, not-for-profits, and registered charities pursue solutions, opportunities, and supporting education towards a more sustainable, net zero future.

Each year will be giving a grant to organizations and programs within the ATCO Gas or ATCO Electric service area in Alberta for clean energy community projects. If your organization is eligible, you can apply to receive one-time funding of up to help with your projects or programs, large and small.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  • Ineligible applicants & activities

    The following organizations are NOT eligible to receive funding:

    • For-profit organizations
    • Advocacy or lobbying organizations
    • Religious organizations (except where they represent non-denominational community and social support services)
    • Community/Family Foundations, Trusts or Funds
    • Private clubs funded through membership fees
    • Individuals, and individual pursuits

     

    The following activities are NOT eligible to receive funding:

    • Advertising or promotional initiatives
    • General operating costs
    • Churches or religious organizations, unless offering broad, non-denominational
    • Community services
    • Conferences, seminars, workshops and conventions
    • Contingency or deficit funds
    • Health and welfare organizations already supported through our ATCO Employee Participating in Communities (EPIC) program
    • Individual/team applicants and/or programs
    • Political or partisan organizations or events
    • Programs delivered outside ATCO’s operating communities
    • Retroactive funding for program expenses incurred prior to ATCO’s funding decision
    • Travel for individuals or groups
    • Utility rebates
  • Program governance

    The Community Energy Fund is made possible by shareowner dollars which are not recovered by customer electricity or gas rates. The allocation of these funds is intended to support Alberta communities that ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric operate in.

    All applications will be reviewed by an ATCO selection committee comprised of:

    • Executive sponsor
    • Two representatives from our Customer Experience & Initiatives teams
    • Two representatives from our regional operational teams and
    • Two members of our Community Relations Marketing & Communications team.


    These program guidelines are subject to change without notice. In all questions of interpretation of these program guidelines, the Fund’s interpretation shall prevail. All committee decisions are final.

  • Evaluation criteria

    The Community Energy Fund Selection Committee has exclusive responsibility for all funding decisions. The committee members will evaluate and weigh submissions individually, then meet to discuss the applications as a group.

    The Community Energy Fund will prioritize submissions that clearly define how your organization, school or community supports your journey to a net zero future and demonstrates the positive impact that will be achieved through your actions. This includes reducing energy demands and lowering GHG emissions through carbon capture utilization and storage, electrification, energy efficiency, or hydrogen production and utilization.

    The evaluation scorecard specifically examines how each program supports the following indicators: 

    • Energy Transition: Project or initiative has a direct focus on renewable/alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and/or energy technology that will have a positive impact on their energy use towards a more sustainable future
    • Community Impact: Project provides a positive impact to the broader community and exemplifies the organization's goal for a more sustainable future.
    • Innovation: Project is a new idea or a novel approach to an existing one.
    • Evaluation & Metrics: Ability to track and report on their energy conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and/or provide metrics on a successful outcome of their initiative.

     

    For Schools Programs, we also take in consideration: 

    • Student Leadership & Education: Project provides multiple opportunities for student involvement in setting project direction or input to the outcomes or activities as appropriate for their age, and an opportunity learn about the need for a more sustainable future through better energy solutions.

Eligibility

The Community Energy Fund is specific to Alberta communities served by ATCO Gas and/or ATCO Electric. The Fund will prioritize applications that clearly define how your organization, school, or community supports your journey to a net zero future and demonstrates the positive impact that will be achieved through your actions.

  • Eligible projects

    Projects or programs that could receive funding from ATCO’s Community Energy Fund include: 

    • Energy audits to identify energy efficiency improvements
    • Energy efficiency upgrades for community facilities
    • Education programs or student clubs supporting renewable gas, clean technologies, or renewable solutions education
    • Lower-emitting options for public or community transportation
    • Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for clean energy projects
    • Renewable energy solutions and/or clean technologies 
  • Eligible applicants

    Organizations/groups must reside or operate programming within the ATCO Gas or ATCO Electric service area in Alberta. Those eligible to apply for funding are: 

    • Municipalities
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Registered charities
    • Public schools 

How To Apply

  • Step 1: Review eligibility

    Review all the eligibility requirements, ensuring your organization, group, or program is in an Alberta community served by ATCO Gas and/or ATCO Electric.

  • Step 2: Gather information

    Gather the information required to complete the application 

    • The organization Tax ID or Canada Revenue Agency Number

    • Contact information

    • Detailed information about the organization

    • Detailed information about the program or project you are requesting funding for

    • Financial information related to the organization and the project you are requesting funding for

  • Step 3: Submit online application

    Start your application through our online portal.  Applications for the 2024 program will open Spring 2024. Check back for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the application deadline?

    Applications have closed for 2023 and will re-open in Spring 2024. Applications must be completed through our online portal and submitted with all required attachments. We do not accept paper applications.

  • What is the application review process?

    Applications will be reviewed by the Community Energy Fund Review Committee and will be scored based on the following indicators: 

    • Energy Transition: Project or initiative has a direct focus on renewable/alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and/or energy technology that will have a positive impact on their energy use towards a more sustainable future
    • Community Impact: Project provides a positive impact to the broader community and exemplifies the organization's goal for a more sustainable future.
    • Innovation: Project is a new idea or a novel approach to an existing one.
    • Evaluation & Metrics: Ability to track and report on their energy conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and/or provide metrics on a successful outcome of their initiative.

     

    For Schools Programs, we also take into consideration: 

    • Student Leadership & Education: Project provides multiple opportunities for student involvement in setting project direction or input to the outcomes or activities as appropriate for their age, and an opportunity to learn about the need for a more sustainable future through better energy solutions.
  • What funding amount can I expect & when does the funding need to be spent?

    The maximum funding one project can expect is $15,000, however financial support from the Community Energy Fund can vary in scale in relation to our presence in the community, the yearly budget available, the number of eligible applications received, and the environmental impact your project will have within your community.

    If your organization is successful in receiving funding, you will have two years upon the time you receive the money to spend it on your project or initiative. Organizations can only receive funding once per project. 

  • When and how will I be notified?

    Most of our communications will be through the application portal. We will communicate our funding decision after the Review Committee has evaluated all the applications and have met to discuss the annual allocation.

  • My application was rejected. Why can’t you fund my project/organization?

    We only have $150,000 to allocate to projects for this year, so we are unable to support all the applications we receive. It's also possible that your application didn't meet the criteria for funding from this program.  If you have questions, please email us at community@atco.com

  • If I have questions or require assistance, who can I contact?

    Send an email to community@atco.com