Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth Partnership with Demand Renewables

Organization Summary:
Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth in a registered charity that helps to provide Indigenous youth the opportunity to develop hands on skills by working on community driven projects from start to finish. Project specifics are strategically selected by the community, ensuring the community can find their own unique solution.

Wiikwemkoong Greenhouse for Change Project Summary:
Focus Forward has consulted with community stakeholders from the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and the decision was made to construct a four-season greenhouse nestled into a sloping hill adjacent to their high school. Construction began in the spring of 2018 and we ran student programming during July and August where a group of 13 students were able to be mentored by the housing department of the local Band in constructing the insulated concrete form (ICF) walls of this unique greenhouse. Additionally, the students installed a 5-kW Net-Metered Solar System on their high school that was generously provided to us by Demand Renewables at a discounted rate. The students went through a five-day intensive solar workshop ran by the North American Solar Academy where they learned solar fundamentals and practiced mounting the solar panels indoors before installing the system on the roof of their high school.

Upcoming Projects
In our work with Indigenous Communities I have found there is a strong cultural desire to be self-sufficient and solar is a technology that aligns perfectly with these values. Therefore, the strong partnership we have with Demand Renewables is vital to achieve our community partner’s food & energy sovereignty goals. A perfect examples of this is a 15-kW PV system scheduled to be installed in the Montreal Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan this summer again provided to us by Demand Renewables. The solar PV system will cover all the energy demands of one of few fully self-sufficient, carbon free, four season greenhouses in northern Canada. The synergy between clean renewable energy and sustainable food systems is a model that we are helping educate youth and empower communities with to scale and implement these collaborative solutions themselves.

As our organization grows and develops many more projects, the need for strong partnerships to help implement solar in indigenous communities across Canada is crucial.

Cedric Pepelea, CRE

Director of Operations 

Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth - Click the PDF to see the reference letter with pictures

Greg & Duana Bergman - Osgoode, ON

This company is 5-star all the way...from the first presentation to the day we switched on our solar system and could track our real-time energy production in the app they provided.

They started with an analysis of our last 2 years of electricity usage to come up with a system that matched our needs and never attempted to oversell us. Everything was laid out clearly in a contract which was always followed. What to expect at every step was always made very clear for us. If we had any questions we always received timely responses to our messages, no matter the format.

At installation time, their team was very personable, respectful and tidy...a real pleasure to chat with and have at our home.

We ran into some delays and challenges with a related project that was happening at our house at the same time and while it was not their project or responsibility, they went way out of their way to help us get that back on track and make our overall experience as smooth as possible.

Dealing with Demand Renewables was a rare sales and customer service experience. It was wonderful to work with people that didn’t just stumble into this as job, but intentionally chose to work in this field. There is no doubt about their passion for renewable energy and their want to right an industry.

I would absolutely not hesitate to recommend Demand Renewables for your solar project.

Mark Asselstine - Nepean, ON

The team from Demand Renewables was professional from day one and ensured that they created and executed on the best plan for our home and our family. The team was always responsive to any questions or comments we had along the way and always did their best to make the small adjustments needed to ensure we were happy with the results.


Taking on any large home improvement project can be daunting and the folks at Demand Renewables were the right choice for us to ensure things went smoothly and produced the best outcome. We are excited to benefit from our small solar PV array for years to come.

If you are thinking of installing solar on your home I suggest you do your own research and find the right solutions and people for your project. I highly recommend you give the guys at Demand Renewables a call to see if they might be a good fit for you.

Giuseppe & Josephine - Tottenham, ON
Rodney Farrell- Ottawa, ON

We were extremely impressed with the level of service and attention to detail we received from Demand Renewables.

My wife and I are both retirees on a fixed income, we bought our home years ago when electricity was cheap but the rising cost of energy in the last 10 years has really had a substantial hit on our income.  So, we decided to look at alternatives that could help us save money in the future.

From the very beginning they were open and honest with us about the realities of solar and what to expect from a system. Our home is not large and doesn’t have the space needed to offset 100% of our annual energy.  With that said, they consulted with us and on our behalf and we were approved for help under Ontario Electricity Support Program.  Through this program we are able to lower the cost of energy that our system did not offset.  This was above and beyond what we were expecting.

Demand Renewables gave us a high-quality system with real time monitoring, long warranties and a basically maintenance free system.

I tell my wife all the time that customer service is not what is was in the old days, well this group is bringing it back.

We highly recommend Demand Renewables as the starting point of any solar project.

We just purchased our first home and really saw the value in installing solar to lower our energy costs. We reached out to a few companies and they all came back with similar proposals as far as system size and annual energy production.

The first thing Demand Renewables asked for was 12 months of our usage. We explained that we just moved in but other proposals had 9kW system’s. They asked if we need that much energy. I didn’t know! They asked if we are comfortable purchasing a 9kW system when we might only need a 7.5kW system. They were also the only ones that mentioned the 40k interest free loan that Trudeau announced during the election.

They advised us to wait until we had 12 months of data and wait for the loan details to come out. Why get a loan from the bank today when you could get an interest free loan next year?

We are waiting the year and will be getting the work done by Demand Renewables.