With the implementation of the Ontario Cap & Trade Program, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a popular topic in Ontario. As the province switches to a cleaner electrical grid, the cost to provide electricity goes up; this can influence the profitability of heavy energy users. However, many companies are considering projects to improve their energy usage and monitoring and the related return on investment.
Some organizations are spearheading the shift to more energy-conscious systems. The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) are one of these forward-thinking organizations, recently retrofitting their Toronto headquarters to lower long-term operating costs. Infrastructure upgrades will allow OAA to become carbon neutral by 2018 and reduce overall energy consumption by 90%, generating over $85,000 in annual savings.
Businesses owners in Ontario can access government funding to offset renovation project costs and accelerate the company’s access to energy efficient technologies. Clean technology grants can be used to support costly upgrades that lead to energy efficiency improvements and reduce operational expenses. Businesses investing in energy efficiency upgrades now may avoid facing higher renovation costs in the future.
How Ontario Business Can Perform Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Ontario is Canada’s second highest emitter of GHG emissions, accounting for 23% of the country’s total emissions. In Ontario, buildings are responsible for 17% of greenhouse gas emissions. With energy rates on the rise, businesses should consider completing infrastructure renovations to improve overall energy efficiency.
Ontario-based businesses can improve their efficiency by executing a range of energy conservation projects. Equipment upgrades and energy efficient practices only go so far; by investing in facility upgrades and retrofits, companies can reduce their carbon footprint and operational expenses.
Business looking to improve their existing infrastructure may consider projects such as:
- Installing solar panels;
- Replacing outdated lighting for new LED and/or CFL bulbs;
- Installing insulated piping;
- Improving building insulation and draft sealing (install new windows);
- Reducing or eliminate the use of gas (replace with clean electricity or biofuels); and
- Planting trees that provide shade and/or wind coverage.
Ontario Small Business Grants for Energy Efficiency Projects
With energy efficiency requirements growing, businesses should begin planning ways to dramatically improve operational energy performance. Forward-thinking businesses should consider developing a Proactive Funding Plan™ to match their upcoming projects to Ontario government grants such as:
CME SMART Green Fund to Implement GHG-Reducing Technology
The CME SMART Green Fund helps businesses accelerate the adoption of new technologies leading to reduced GHG creation and productivity improvements. Manufacturers with process improvement projects can access clean technology grants to become more efficient.
Eligible applicants may receive up to 50% to a maximum $200,000/facility in government grants. Maximum funding per applicant is capped at $500,000.
Ontario Development Funding for Facility Expansion/Upgrades
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) incentivize large-scale business investment projects such as facility upgrades. Successfully funded projects will improve business productivity and create at least 10 new jobs.
Government funding is awarded based on project budgets:
- Projects Under $10 Million: Up to 10-15% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $1.5 million in business grants.
- Projects Exceeding $10 Million: Up to 10-15% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $1.5 million in business grants, plus the option to receive repayable funding worth up to a maximum $3.5 million.
IESO Conservation Fund for Energy Reduction Projects
The IESO Conservation Fund supports commercial energy efficiency projects across Ontario. Funding supports the development and piloting of new innovative conservation programs, practices and technologies that will lead to large scale energy efficiency enhancements.
Eligible applicants may receive up to 100% of project expenses to a maximum of $1,000,000 in Ontario government grants.
IESO saveONenergy Retrofit Program for Energy Conservation
The IESO saveONenergy Retrofit Program helps Ontario-based businesses invest in energy efficiency projects to reduce their electricity consumption. Program incentives allow participants to reduce project and operational costs for equipment upgrades such as lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems.
Eligible businesses may receive up to 50% coverage of the project’s retrofit expenses.
Access Government Funding for Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Ontario-based businesses that are considering executing energy efficiency improvement projects can access government grants to accelerate their initiatives. Funding is available to offset project expenses that have significant impact on GHG reduction and energy efficiency improvements.
Businesses with projects focused on improving energy efficiency should contact Mentor Works to discuss funding programs to offset upcoming expenses.