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Ontario incentive programs beyond 2015: transition from IESO to LDCs

October 13, 2015 - Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has announced the transition of incentive programs to local distribution companies (LDCs). How will this transition affect industrial and commercial companies?

October 14, 2015  By Anatoli Naoumov

The message from provincial electricity authorities is reassuring… at Toronto Hydro, most programs will continue in the similar format, and the incentive application process is expected to become faster and easier.

Conservation incentive programs past 2015
Programs to be continued past the end of 2015 include:

• Retrofit
• Energy Audit (including Building Systems Audit)
• Existing Building Commissioning
• High-performance New Construction
• Process and Systems Upgrade Initiative (including Small Capital Projects)
• Embedded Energy Managers
• Monitoring and Targeting
• Preliminary and Detailed Engineering Study

The Small Business Lighting program will be replaced in 2016, but new programs are expected to be launched by LDCs with a focus on innovation and accountability through measurement and verification of actual results.


At some point during the transition period, each LDC will launch its own incentive program and start accepting applications. Incentive levels of 2011-14 will continue through 2015, but may change next year. Though each LDC will launch its own conservation program, application and evaluation procedures will remain the same or better (easier to follow).

What’s important for businesses to know is that the Conservation & Demand Management (CDM) program has provincial funding for another six years.

Conservation programs will vary from one LDC to another. For example, Powerstream will not support the Energy Manager Program whereas Toronto Hydro will relaunch the program with modified conditions: rather than fully cover an energy manager’s salary, only 60% of the salary will be refunded (but the host company will be eligible for bonus funding up to $150K based on achieved savings).

Transition of started projects
All energy conservation projects currently underway will have sufficient time to finish. Projects completed prior to LDC launch will have 150 days to submit reports. Projects not completed by the end of 2015 will be extended with a 2-page Amendment Agreement. Projects started with OPA (Ontario Power Authority) and not finished prior to LDC launch will be transitioned to the new program; details will be worked out before the end of this year. All applications submitted prior to LDC launch will be subject to 2011-14 incentive rates.

Changes in incentive programs at Toronto Hydro
Where Toronto Hydro is concerned, here is what we can expect in the way of incentive programs as planned for 2016:

• Existing streams of incentives will be simplified
• Audit and Process & Systems procedures incentive stream will be simplified
• CHP will allow 3rd-party participation e.g. ESCO
• saveONenergy site will evolve to reflect Conservation First Framework (CFF) and will direct visitors to the appropriate LDC.

A managing partner at GreenQ Partners, Anatoli Naoumov, MBA, MSc, CMVP, has been involved in various areas of business analysis and development for over 15 years for companies in Canada, The Netherlands and Russia. He has been certified as measurement and verification professional (CMVP) by The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and The Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO). He can be reached at . This post is based on a presentation by Joe Bilé, manager, CDM Program Delivery & Business Development, Toronto Hydro.

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