Energy Incentive Series: A Look into Energy Incentive Programs Across Canada

By: Tiffany Richmond

There are multiple local distribution company (LDC) across Canada. That also means there are many energy incentive options. If you’ve had experience with energy incentives then you know how complex and daunting understanding and applying for each incentive can be. To help eliminate some of the noise and complications of understanding what incentives are available today, this blog series will outline a number of incentives across Canada.

To get started the first energy incentive discussed is part of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) saveONenergy program. The saveONenergy program was established in 2011 and is run by over 20 LDC in Ontario. The saveONenergy program provides funding for energy audits, and distributes financial incentives for energy retrofit implementations and new green constructions.

This article will highlight the Audit Funding Program.

What is it?

The Audit Funding Program incentive is intended to cover up to 50% of the cost of an energy audit, based on requirements that take into account the size and complexity of the buildings.

There are two types of audits available for this incentive:

  1. Electricity Survey and Analysis: this audit will uncover and study energy efficient opportunities at the building (ASHRAE Level 2 Audit)
  2. Detailed Analysis of Capital Intensive Modifications: this audit includes detailed field data combined with rigorous engineering analysis to provide in-depth financial analysis of the project (ASHRAE level 3 Audit). This option is only available to buildings who are over 50,000 sq. ft.

What is the incentive?

For Electricity Survey and Analysis:

Square Footage Incentive Incentive Cap
Up to 30,000 sq. ft. $0.10 per sq. ft. up to 30,000 sq. ft. Maximum of 50% of project cost
Larger than 30,000 sq. ft. $3,000 for the first 30,000 sq. ft. and $0.05 per sq. ft. for each incremental sq. ft. 50% of project costs or up to $25,000 (whichever is less)

For Detailed Analysis of Capital Intensive Modifications:
Incremental funding to the Electricity Survey and Analysis funding for buildings over 50,000 sq. ft.

Square Footage Incentive Incentive Cap
Greater than 50,000 sq. ft. $0.05 per sq. ft. Up to a maximum of 50% of project cost or $10,000 (whichever is less)

In addition to the above two incentives there is also an incentive for tenant audits.

Description Incentive Incentive Cap
For audit of lighting, office equipment and plug loads only $0.03 per sq. ft. Up to a maximum of 50% of project cost or $7,500 (whichever is less)

Who can apply for this incentive?

  • Commercial buildings, such as offices, retail and grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and warehouses
  • Institutional buildings, including hospitals, universities, municipal halls and arenas
  • Multi-family buildings, such as apartments (including social housing) or condominiums
  • Agricultural facilities, including dairy, swine or poultry farms, greenhouses and nurseries

Keep in mind that the energy audit must be completed by a third party who has the following qualifications:

A professional engineer, a certified engineering technologist, a certified energy manager or a certified measurement and verification professional, who has at least three years of relevant experience evaluating energy systems in building.

To learn more about the Audit Funding Program click here.

Tiffany Richmond has over five years of experience as a marketing professional and is responsible for online marketing strategies at Energy Advantage Inc.

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