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Conservation Fund

Grants to Ontario Nonprofits, For-Profits, and
IHEs for Innovations in Energy Conservation

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)

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Grants to Ontario nonprofits and for-profits, including hydro companies, tech companies, consulting firms, industry associations, educational institutions, and public sector organizations for innovative approaches in conservation. Applications will be considered for projects that develop or pilot conservation practices, research, technologies, and programs.

Eligible projects can focus on one of the following categories:
-Community of practice
-Strategic research
-Emerging technology development
-Emerging technology demonstration
-Strategic opportunities

Projects relating to the research, development and demonstration of transmission, distribution, and electricity generation (e.g. solar, wind, waterpower, and fossil fuels) are not eligible for funding, with the exception of waste energy recovery projects.

Eligible Projects:

The Conservation Fund only considers applications for projects to develop or pilot innovative conservation programs, practices and technologies.

The fund is focused on transforming the market and stimulating large-scale change, so proposed projects must be designed to deliver specific outcomes.

Categories of eligible projects:

Testing of a new conservation program or specific program element, resulting in the creation of a new conservation program, a new program element or the revision of an existing conservation program. The project must test the concept in a real-world environment and involve suitable partners. To determine both project impact and eligibility as a conservation initiative, projects must have an evaluation, measurement and verification component.

Development and assessment of a new energy management tool or approach (e.g., policy, benchmarking solution, mapping technology) to establish feasibility and broader potential.

Training Program:
Pilot of a targeted training program designed to close a skills gap, with the potential to become a new capability-building initiative.

Community of Practice:
Formation of a self-sustaining network designed to facilitate sharing of information and best practices to target groups.

Strategic Research:
Research study investigating a project or program concept. The outcome of the study must be a business case for implementing the initiative as a pilot project.

Emerging Technology Demonstration:
Demonstration, measurement and verification of emerging technologies and processes. The project must test a near- commercial technology in a real-world environment. Projects must have an evaluation, measurement and verification component to determine cost effectiveness, electricity savings potential and eligibility under conservation initiatives.

Emerging Technology Development:
Development of an emerging technology/process to validate its technical potential and to advance its state of commercial readiness, leading to pre-commercial demonstration.

Strategic Opportunities Stream:
Large-scale piloting of strategically important program approaches that cannot be piloted at a smaller scale. Pilot results must have the strong potential to directly influence conservation programming.

In addition to delivering a specific outcome, projects must also directly address one of the following categories of conservation action:

Conservation Category:

Energy Efficiency:
Energy efficiency occurs when customers reduce their electricity consumption but retain a similar level of end-use service. Energy efficiency is the gain realized from using more energy-efficient equipment, processes and buildings.

Demand Response:
Demand response occurs when customers reduce their electricity demand at certain times, such as during peak use hours (peak clipping), or shift some of their demand to off-peak hours (peak shifting).

Conservation Behavior:
Conservation behavior occurs when customers reduce their electricity consumption by scaling back an activity that is powered by electricity.

Load Reduction:
Load reduction occurs when instead of using common electric equipment, customers elect to switch away from using electricity to use another fuel source such as geothermal or solar heating or cooling. For example, instead of using an electric hot water heater, a solar hot water heater could be used.

Load Displacement:
Load displacement is when electricity is generated by an onsite, behind-the-meter project driven by a primary energy source of process waste heat, waste power, waste by-product, or waste gas. Such applications must have a net efficiency benefit to the user and must not be fueled by diesel, coal or any other fuel disallowed by the IESO. Additionally, any project or technology (e.g. solar photovoltaic, wind, waterpower, bioenergy) previously eligible under the IESO Feed-in Tariff Program or the IESO Micro Feed-in Tariff program is not considered load displacement.

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 support.

Eligible Expenses:
-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

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 156246

Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum IESO support for project:
-Program: $500,000
-Tool: $500,000
-Training Program: $250,000
-Community of Practice: $250,000
-Strategic Research: $100,000
-Emerging Technology Demonstration: $500,000
-Emerging Technology Development: $250,000
-Strategic Opportunities Stream: $1,000,000

Term of Contract:

The maximum project length for Conservation Fund financial support is three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Both nonprofit and for-profit incorporated entities can apply for funding, including:
-Local hydro companies
-Technology companies
-Consulting firms
-Industry associations
-Educational institutions
-Public sector organizations

Ineligible Expenses:
-Budget deficits
-Activities completed or costs incurred before the funding is approved or after the project is completed
-Costs over $50,000 for any single consultant or contractor that has not been selected through a competitive process
-Costs associated with the purchase of real estate
-Any overhead costs generated by the lead applicant or third parties, such as operating costs related to general maintenance and repair
-Hospitality, incidental or food expenses for the project team
-Hospitality or travel costs not in compliance with the Government of Ontario’s Travel, Meals and Hospitality Expenses Directive
-Any costs not directly related to the achievement of the project’s objectives as defined in the contribution agreement between the IESO and the applicant

Pre-Application Information:

The IESO Conservation Fund accepts unsolicited applications during defined intake windows. The next intake window for unsolicited applications to the Conservation Fund is March 1-31, 2019.

Funding is provided for up to a specified maximum percentage of project costs depending on project type:

-Program: 75%
-Tool: 75%
-Training Program: 75%
-Community of Practice: 75%
-Strategic Research: 100%
-Emerging Technology Demonstration: 75%
-Emerging Technology Development: 75%
-Strategic Opportunities Stream: 50%

Eligibility and Fund Application:

Projects Funded:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Questions can be directed to:

Submit applications to:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario