News release

Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Mi’kmaw Homes

Thousands of Mi’kmaw people across Nova Scotia will receive energy efficiency upgrades to their homes as part of an initiative being offered for the first time in Canada.

The provincial and federal governments are investing a total of $14 million in the Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project. This project will see all band-owned homes on reserves qualify for upgrades like new insulation, heat pumps and draft-proofing. The initiative will lower heating and power bills, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs in Mi’kmaw communities across the province.

“Nova Scotia is a national leader in fighting climate change, with energy efficiency being a large part of our work and success,” said Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Energy and Mines. “We are pleased to partner with Mi’kmaw communities on this initiative, so their members can benefit from the upgrades as well as the jobs, training and future opportunities that will follow.”

In 2018, the Department of Energy and Mines partnered with Efficiency Nova Scotia on a pilot program that saw 100 households on all 13 Mi’kmaw communities across the province receive efficiency upgrades. Recipients are now saving an average of $900 per year on their energy bills. The Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project will mirror the pilot. Work is expected to start in early 2020.

The goal is to provide upgrades to 80 per cent of the 2,400 band-owned homes on the reserves over 10 years, with 900 homes in the first four years. This is the most comprehensive project of its kind in the country.


We are pleased to be working Nation-to-Nation to create positive changes on how energy is used in our Mi’kmaq homes. With the support of the Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project, our communities can find new, innovative ways to best preserve and protect the place that we have called home since time immemorial. Chief Paul Prosper, energy lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs

This funding will allow for us to continue and expand our current programs in Mi’kmaw communities. The energy efficiency upgrades will not only help participants save on their energy bills, but will also reduce emissions, contributing to Nova Scotia’s clean energy future. Stephen MacDonald, CEO EfficiencyOne.

I suffer with health issues, and with the extreme heat last summer, it was difficult to breathe once inside my home. I am looking forward to the air comfort in the summer from my new heat pump. Francis Pierro, Wagmatcook elder and recipient of upgrades under the pilot

These upgrades helped me take control of how much energy my home needs. I’m most looking forward to having indoor temperature control in all seasons. Darren Julian, Wagmatcook First Nation and recipient of upgrades under the pilot

Quick Facts:

  • the province is contributing $3.5 million
  • the federal government is contributing 10.5 million
  • Efficiency Nova Scotia will conduct assessments on homes to identify inefficiencies and make recommendations on what upgrades are needed
  • Efficiency Nova Scotia has reduced the province’s electricity use by 11 per cent in its 10-year history
  • energy efficiency programs deliver more than $5 in savings for every $1 invested