The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) offers small business grants in Ontario for research and conservation projects that aim to reduce the demand for electricity through the IESO Conservation Fund.

Below we have compiled a list of FAQs, for more information scroll to the bottom of this page for links to an overview, eligibility criteria, and program update.

What is the aim of the IESO Conservation Fund Small Business Grants?

The purpose of the IESO’s small business funding grants through the Conservation Fund is to provide financial support to electricity conservation initiatives that prove to be new, innovative and designed to help allow Ontario residents, businesses and institutions to cost-effectively reduce their demand for electricity.

What Types of Projects Are Eligible for IESO Government Grants for Small Business?

Conservation Fund government grants for small business support electricity conservation projects that:

  • Build marketplace capacity for conservation actions
  • Test new or unique conservation program elements
  • Verify the energy savings potential and cost-effectiveness of novel demand-side technologies and processes
  • Can be scaled-up to achieve significant energy savings in Ontario.

Only projects to develop or pilot innovative conservation programs, practices and technologies will be eligible for Ontario government funding.

What Types of Projects are not eligible for IESO Government Funding for Small Business?

Applications relating to the research, development and demonstration of transmission, distribution, and electricity generation technologies (e.g. solar photovoltaic, wind, waterpower, and bioenergy) are not eligible for Conservation Fund government grants Ontario support.

Who is Eligible for Conservation Fund Small Business Grants Ontario?

The Conservation Fund welcomes applications from non-profit and for-profit incorporated entities, including, but not limited to, local distribution companies (LDCs), technology companies, consulting firms, industry associations, educational institutions, and public sector organizations.

What Ontario Business Grants Funding is Available through the Conservation Fund?

The Conservation Fund will consider providing support through Ontario small business grants up to a specified maximum percentage of project costs. Applicant cash and in-kind contributions must therefore provide a minimum level of guaranteed leverage of IESO funds and in-kind contributions must be auditable. While other non-IESO sources of funding can be used as leverage and are encouraged, duplicate funding of IESO-supported tasks is not permitted. The amount of funding is dependent on the type of project.  Please contact a Canadian government funding expert at Mentor Works for more details.

What types of expenses are eligible for Ontario government grants for small business funding?

Costs eligible for project support from the Conservation Fund are those directly related to the design, development, demonstration, installation, implementation, testing, measurement and performance verification of the project. These costs would include:

  • Project-specific materials, equipment, products and services
  • Salaries and benefits of employees directly involved in the design, selection, purchase and installation of the project (to a maximum of $800/day)
  • Professional, engineering, scientific, technical, management and contracting services, including training
  • Permits and license fees
  • Funding for marketing, communications and workshops directly related to project activities
  • Costs associated with the monitoring, verification and evaluation of the project’s impacts, including data collection, processing, analysis and management
  • Equipment and products, including diagnostic and testing tools and instruments and associated software
  • Costs associated with providing approved incentives to project participants

How do I find out more information about the IESO Conservation Fund?

Choose from one of the options below to access detailed information about the IESO Conservation Fund. If you are an incorporated Ontario business with at least 15 employees, please reach out to a Canadian government funding expert for a free consultation about the program as well as other Canadian government funding opportunities available for your business.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

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Ryan has a BA in economics, an MSc in management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.

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