Natural Resources Canada
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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Commercial and Institutional Organizations


The following is for information purposes only.

NRCan's ecoENERGY Retrofit – Small and Medium Organizations program ended on March 31, 2011.

Since April 2007, this initiative provided financial assistance to 710 building retrofit projects resulting in projected annual energy savings of over 1,117,480 GigaJoules or 0.1 Mt of greenhouse gas emissions.

Many utilities, governments and private sector organizations in Canada offer similar services. For more information, you can contact us.

Important Updates for the ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive for Buildings

This page lists program news and changes for the ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive for Buildings, as well as the latest versions of the application guide and forms. (updated May 6, 2010).

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.6 (as of May 6, 2010)

  • As demand for this program has been less than expected, the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Small and Medium Organizations program will finish March 31, 2011.
  • The program is still accepting applications, projects continue to be approved, and no existing agreements will be affected.
  • Applications for this program will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31, 2011, or until all funds are allocated, whichever comes first.
  • After NRCan has signed the Contribution Agreement, you will have a specified amount of time to complete your project as indicated in clause 4.2 of the contribution agreement. We will not approve requests for project extensions after March 31, 2011.

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.5 (as of December 2, 2009)

  • Effective December 2, 2009, commercial and institutional clients who have already successfully completed a retrofit project are no longer required to wait 12 months before applying for a second project in the same building.
  • A single building can apply for more than one retrofit incentive to a maximum of $50,000 per application provided the previous project has been completed. An organization with more than one building can apply for more than one incentive provided that each application is for a different building. The corporate maximum over the five-year life of the program is $250,000.
  • Eligible Buildings Update: Federal government buildings that are under a long term lease (5 years or more) by non-federal organizations.

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.4 (as of April 22, 2009)

  • Small mixed-use buildings that have at least 50 percent residential space may now be eligible for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grant (see the March 30 update below).
  • If your space is connected to another structure and you do not have a separate utility meter, we may accept a detailed engineering analysis to support your current energy use and consumption profile.
  • Lighting in associated parking lots and garages is eligible.
  • Biomass projects are not eligible since they may increase rather than decrease greenhouse gas emissions and air contaminants.
  • We will consider an amendment to your Contribution Agreement to extend the length of your project by up to six months in exceptional circumstances. Please provide written notice at least 60 days before the completion date for your project.
  • A lighting specialist, preferably with a Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC) or Lighting Certification (LC) designation, who has at least three years experience performing lighting audits is acceptable if the project is limited to a lighting retrofit.
  • We recommend, but do not require, that the person who performed your pre-project energy audit complete Parts 3 and 4 of the Application Form.
  • Buildings larger than 19 000 square metres no longer require verifiable evidence of floor area.
  • When you request the application guide and forms, you will also receive a PDF of our new promotional fact sheet.
  • This version reiterates that we may apply limits to building energy consumption that falls outside typical ranges and proposed energy savings that fall outside benchmarks recognized by NRCan for similar energy efficiency measures.

Modification for Small Commercial/Residential Buildings (as of March  30, 2009)

Certain small mixed-use commercial/residential buildings are now eligible for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grant. This includes buildings with:

  • at least 50 percent of the total floor area (including the basement) that is used as one or more permanent residences;
  • less than four storeys above grade;
  • a footprint of 600 square metres (6 458 square feet) or less;
  • no more than 20 units;
  • no more than two exterior entrances that provide access to all spaces; and
  • without commercial equipment not typically found in a home (e.g., commercial stoves, freezers, coolers, washers and dryers).

The maximum grant is $5000 per residential unit, and the maximum grant for property owners with multiple properties is $500,000.

Multi-unit residential buildings, with or without commercial space, that are ineligible under the residential grant may still be considered under the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Small and Medium Organizations incentive provided they meet the program's eligibility requirements as stated in the Application Guide.

New Sample Audit (as of March 19, 2009)

Receive a new “Sample Pre-Project Energy Audit” when you access the application guide and forms.

Program Modifications (as of March 6, 2009)

  • You can now include more than 10 buildings in a project submission.
  • If you encounter delays in project implementation, the OEE may allow an amendment to the Contribution Agreement for a time extension.

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.3 (as of November 20, 2008)

  • Service providers and auditors (such as Professional Engineers and Certified Engineering Technologists) now only require two years of related experience (instead of three) to perform pre-project energy audits in buildings over 600 square metres.
  • Certified Energy Advisors recognized by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) can now perform pre-project energy audits of small mixed-use commercial/residential buildings (e.g., corner stores with an apartment) in addition to other small buildings (e.g., churches) under 600 square metres with no specialized commercial equipment. For these types of smaller buildings, we no longer specify the length of experience required for service providers such as Professional Engineers or Certified Engineering Technologists.
  • Reiteration of the requirement not to start the retrofit project or incur eligible costs before receiving written approval from NRCan.

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.2 (as of September 5, 2008)

  • We removed the “Eligible Net Taxes” section of the form, and after our evaluation, will send this to you as a separate form if we determine your organization could receive a higher incentive by claiming sales taxes.
  • We no longer have application periods. You can apply anytime before March 31, 2011 or until funds are expended, and we will start the review process immediately.
  • We clarified that you cannot start a project or incur eligible costs until all parties have signed a Contribution Agreement and you receive written approval from us.
  • We explain that a Certified Energy Advisor can perform the audit on any residential-style building (small churches, etc.) under 600 square metres if there is no specialized commercial equipment. Do not send applications for commercial/institutional buildings to the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program.
  • If your building is located in New Brunswick, you can apply directly to Efficiency NB and your project will be automatically considered for both the provincial Energy Smart incentive and ecoENERGY Retrofit at the same time.

Application Guide and Forms, Version 4.1 (as of June 2, 2008)

  • You now have the option of accessing the guide (without forms) on a Web page or downloading the PDF.
  • The form now correctly indicates percent of energy savings in Part 7.

Application Guide, Version 4.0 (as of May 22, 2008)

  • You must refer to this latest version of the guide. Proposals submitted under previous application periods are subject to the Application Guide available at that time.
  • The maximum floor space has now doubled to 20 000 square meters (215 279 square feet).
  • Buildings need only be occupied for the same or similar purpose for three years instead of five years.
  • We have clarified the requirements of the pre-project energy audit for certain types of buildings (i.e., mixed use commercial/residential buildings under 600 square metres and central heating and cooling plants serving multiple buildings)
  • We now ask for an exterior photo of your building.
  • The guide details other new policies and procedures designed to improve the program.
  • We made a number of improvements to the text. For example, we greatly shortened the section on how to complete the Application Form. It is very important you read the entire guide before submitting a proposal.

Application Forms, Version 4.0 (as of May 22, 2008)

  • You must use the latest version of the forms if submitting during the Fourth Application Period (by February 27, 2009).
  • We now ask for the name of a technical contact person for the project who works either for your organization or your service provider.
  • We reformatted the Application Guide and the order of certain questions.
  • We changed Appendix C to include a more detailed description of what forms to submit electronically and which on paper.
  • We added a new Appendix D which offers a table of contents for a sample pre-project energy audit.

Notice: Third and Fourth Application Periods (as of April 8, 2008)
We have extended the deadline for the Third Application Period until May 15, 2008, and you can continue to use version 3.0 of the guide and forms during this time. The Fourth Application Period will run from May 22, 2008 to February 27, 2009, and you will need to use version 4.0 of the guide and forms, which will be available May 22.

Application Guide, Version 3.0 (as of February 5, 2008)

  • You must refer to this latest version of the guide if submitting during the Third Call for Proposals (by March 31, 2008). Proposals submitted under previous calls are subject to the Application Guide available at that time.
  • We made minor text changes throughout. For example, we improved consistency among the terms “application” (referring to the guide and forms), “proposal” (referring to the package of documentation you send us) and “project” (referring to the retrofit).
  • In Section 1, we re-arranged text so that eligibility criteria are grouped together. We also clarified several eligible and ineligible measures.
  • We expanded the definition of “conditioned interior floor space” to include areas in your building that you heat, cool or ventilate.
  • We now require proposals for buildings larger than 9,500 square meters to include a photograph of the building, along with verifiable evidence of the building's size.
  • In Section 3 Step 2, we now allow an Engineer-in-Training to conduct the pre-project energy audit under the guidance of a Professional Engineer or Certified Engineering Technologist, and we provided further guidance on the required contents of this audit.
  • We will send you a confirmation letter outlining the recognized gigajoule savings and the associated incentive before we prepare a Contribution Agreement for your signature.

Application Form, Version 3.0 (as of February 5, 2008)

  • You must use the latest version of this form if submitting during the Third Call for Proposals (by March 31, 2008).
  • On the cover page, we now ask you to provide your organization's legal status (e.g. incorporated, not-for-profit, etc.), as well as your organization's GST or Business Number (BN) if applicable.
  • In Part 1, we now ask for the description of the proposed buildings before the description of the pre-project energy audit.
  • We added a box for “Others” who might perform the pre-project energy audit, and we now ask you to include the registration number and province of your Professional Engineer or Certified Engineering Technologist in the description of credentials.
  • We now require the number of months (1-12) it should take you to implement the project after all parties have signed the Contribution Agreement.
  • We recommend that the person who performed your pre-project energy audit complete both Parts 2 and 3.
  • In Part 2, we now ask you give us the breakdown of energy end use by gigajoules (GJ), and the percentages are calculated automatically.
  • In Part 3, we remind you not to include the sales tax for each measure. You can instead choose to claim total eligible net sales taxes in Part 4.
  • In Part 5, we have shortened the Environmental Assessment Screening Form.
  • In Part 6, we have added a declaration by the Financial Signing Authority that your organization has met all mandatory proposal requirements.

Application Guide, Version 2.0 (as of October 15, 2007)

  • We made text changes throughout for clarity, and replaced long Web addresses with shortcuts.
  • We changed the term “technical energy analysis” to “pre-project energy audit.”
  • We amended the definition of multi-unit residential building to include mixed-use commercial/residential buildings.
  • We replaced the term “conditioned space” with “interior floor area.”
  • We no longer restrict the incentive to organizations that pay the energy bills.
  • We clarified eligibility requirements if your building is connected to another structure or shares energy systems.
  • We corrected an error which should read that payback is “not less than one year” or “at least one year”.
  • We offer some flexibility on the 12-month project length for buildings in remote northern communities.
  • We removed an option for organizations with buildings under 200 square metres to apply under the grants for homeowners.
  • We corrected the second example in section 2 to reflect that funding from other sources is not subtracted from total eligible costs.
  • Although we recommend a comprehensive audit that examines multiple measures, we may accept a detailed single-measure analysis as long as it provides enough information to complete the application form.

Application Form, Version 2.0 (as of October 15, 2007)

  • You must use the latest version of the application guide if submitting in the Second Call for Proposals.
  • On the cover page, we have changed the general instructions.
  • In the first section, we now ask you to identify if RETScreen international version 4.0 software was used in the preparation of the pre-project energy audit.
  • In Part 1, we also ask you to confirm that the building has been occupied for the last five years for a similar purpose and inquire if the building is connected to another structure or shares a utility meter.
  • If you do not check all boxes related to the Environmental Assessment, we will require a written explanation.
  • In the last section, we replaced “Other Sources of Funding” with “Other Sources of Incentives or Grants”.
  • In the last section, all points in the declaration are now mandatory.

Notice: Second Call for Proposals (as of September 10, 2007)
The Second Call for Proposals will be from October 15 to December 14, 2007.

Application Form, Version 1.2 (as of September 6, 2007)
Minor changes and corrections in the Excel form, including a reminder that costs in Part 3 should not include taxes.

First Call for Proposals Begins (as of June 15, 2007)
We have released the application guide and forms. The deadline for the first call for proposals is September 15, 2007.

Web site Launch (as of April 1, 2007)
We have introduced the new incentive, and we will release the application guide and forms for the first call for proposals on June 15, 2007.

Next: ecoENERGY Retrofit Incentive for Buildings