Save on Energy Retrofit Program
Government Funding

Save on Energy Retrofit Program: New Incentives & Measures Now Available

Save on Energy is an energy efficiency and conservation program provided through the Government of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Save on Energy programs help fund retrofits, energy audits, and controls that reduce electricity demand at peak usage times. Programs are available to support businesses, from small retail stores to large industrial manufacturers, however, few are aware of the range of incentives available.

Organizations who use Save on Energy can reduce the cost of projects, but more importantly, consistently reduce their energy costs over time.

One of the incentives businesses should be aware of is the Save on Energy Retrofit program. This program allows businesses, small or large and in a wide range of sectors, to take advantage of opportunities for savings through energy-efficient equipment upgrades.

Save on Energy defines a measure as: “Any activity undertaken for the primary purpose of obtaining or effecting, directly or indirectly, conservation demand management, including the installation, retrofit, replacement, modification or commissioning of equipment, systems, processes or behaviors that consume or result in the consumption of electricity.”

Save on Energy Retrofit Program: Energy Efficiency Incentives

The Save on Energy Retrofit program provides incentives to participants who upgrade facilities with measures to reduce electricity consumption. The program recently updated the range of measures available, which will allow businesses to take advantage of new products and technologies to help with the reduction of energy costs and improve the overall operation of facilities and buildings.

Save on Energy Retrofit Program Incentive Changes

The measures available under the Retrofit program include:

  • Lighting retrofits
  • Lighting controls
  • HVAC redesign
  • Chiller replacement
  • Variable-speed drive installations

New retrofit rebates have been added as of January 4, 2021 to help businesses save on energy. View the full list of incentives.

Save on Energy Retrofit Program: Types of Project Applications

Under the Retrofit program, there are two categories of project applications for businesses:

Prescriptive Track: Pre-defined end-use measures that provide a “per-unit installed” incentive. This includes the installation of lighting, motors, etc. Retrofits are meant for small, easy-to-finish projects.

Projects must be pre-approved to participate. Small projects are to be worth a minimum incentive of $500.

Custom Track: Designed to offer flexibility for more complex projects. Incentives are based on energy savings over pre-project baselines. Businesses will need to document their baseline energy use, describe their completed energy conservation project, and demonstrate the costs of installing/purchasing/disposing of equipment.

Projects must be pre-approved to participate. Projects are to be worth a minimum incentive of $1500. Custom track incentives are capped at 50% of project cost. Projects must also deliver energy savings for at least 48 months.

Applicant Eligibility for the Save on Energy Retrofit Program

Save on Energy Retrofit incentives are available to:

  • Industrial facilities: packaging industries, food and beverage, plastics, and automotive
  • Institutional buildings: arenas, municipal halls, universities, and hospitals
  • Agricultural facilities: dairy, greenhouses, swine or poultry farms, and nurseries
  • Commercial spaces or buildings: restaurants, offices, retail and grocery stores, warehouses, and hotels
  • Multi-family buildings: apartments (including low-income and social housing) and condominiums

*If applicants are leasing spaces, they must have the owner’s consent or approval.

Project Eligibility for the Save on Energy Retrofit Program

Eligible projects for the Retrofit program are to provide measurable, sustainable, and provable reductions in peak electricity consumption and electricity demand.

Examples include:

  • Enhancement of a building’s thermal performance through procedures such as:
    • low-emissivity window glazing
    • low-emissivity roof barriers
    • increased insulation
    • installation of high-performance windows and frames
  • HVAC redesign
  • Lighting retrofits
  • Chiller replacement
  • Lighting controls
  • Variable-speed drives
  • Implementation of new operating measures required to acquire or increase the effectiveness of an energy management system or building automation system, including equipment installations such as:
    • building automation systems
    • an energy management system
    • sensors
    • metering equipment
    • related communication systems
    • control equipment

Apply for Energy Efficiency Incentives

Save on Energy Retrofit Program: Interested applicants for the Save on Energy Retrofit program should visit the new online application portal. Access to training information and additional resources are available to easily navigate the process.

Get weekly updates on Canadian government funding programs by subscribing to the Weekly Funding Update. You’ll be notified about relevant government grant, loan, and retrofit incentives based on your company size and industry.

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