Energy Manager

IESO launches Save on Energy First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program

A variety of energy efficiency measures are available under the program.

August 4, 2022  By  Anthony Capkun

August 4, 2022 – Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has launched the new Save on Energy First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program, which is open to all on-reserve First Nations communities connected to Ontario’s electricity grid.

It provides up to $100,000 in funding, as well as technical support, to communities to improve the energy efficiency of band-owned facilities and manage their electricity use more effectively.

A variety of energy efficiency measures are available under the program, including indoor/outdoor lighting and HVAC controls, as well as complex retrofit projects in facilities such as arenas and wastewater treatment plants.

What is the offering?


At no cost, the program offers eligible participating communities:

• Up to $100,000 in funding for the installation of energy efficiency upgrades in on-reserve band-owned and -operated commercial and institutional buildings.

• Onsite energy assessments and an audit report identifying energy efficiency projects in up to four facilities chosen by the participant.

• A community benchmark report to compare the energy use of these buildings with other similar buildings, with the goal of prioritizing buildings for further assessment.

• Project support from Save on Energy’s program delivery partner for identifying, engaging, and coordinating installation contractors.

The First Nations Community Building Retrofit Program is delivered through either a Direct Install or Community Install approach.

Direct Install

Save on Energy’s program delivery partner will handle the entire installation process on your community’s behalf. This includes everything from searching for a qualified contractor to obtaining quotes and scheduling installations, and even project management and clean-up.

Includes the direct installation of a variety of energy efficiency measures that could involve indoor/outdoor lighting, smart thermostats, window air-conditioning, improved vending machine controls.

All on-reserve band-owned commercial and industrial facilities are eligible under this approach.

Community Install

Participating communities oversee the entire project and installation process with support from Save on Energy’s program delivery partner.

Up to $10,000 of the $100,000 in funding is available to conduct a feasibility study for the installation of more complex retrofit projects in eligible facilities including—but not limited to—variable frequency drives for pumps, fans in wastewater treatment plants, retrofits to ice rink refrigeration systems.

Eligible projects under this approach involve wastewater treatment plants, arenas and streetlighting.


All on-reserve First Nations communities in Ontario connected to the provincial electricity grid are eligible to participate.

Commercial and institutional facilities must be located on band-owned land and operated for the use and benefit of the community.

An executed Band Council Resolution is required.

The full list of eligibility criteria can be found in the program requirements.

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