Federal Government Funding Commercial, Institutional and MURB Deep Energy Retrofits

Businesses have until April 28, 2023 to apply for Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative project funding.

The Federal Government is making $185 million available for organizations to accelerate their deep retrofit projects.

Who Can Apply

  • Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies
  • Indigenous governments or organizations
  • not-for-profit organizations, including public health, educational and cultural organizations
  • for-profit organizations 

Eligible Activities

  • Energy or carbon audits / assessments, such as: energy performance analysis, identification, recommendations or coordination of measures, aggregation potential, maximizing electrification or carbon reduction potential, etc.
  • Development of business cases / plans / proposals for various audiences (owners or shareholders, financers, tenants, etc.), proposal development facilitation
  • Development of project plans that emphasize a holistic approach to retrofits, which may include work plans for: procurement, project design, integrated design charrettes, project management and administration, etc.
  • Deep retrofit implementation facilitation and project support (excluding capital costs), including tendering, selection, coordination, evaluation, and management of engineering or architectural services, construction trades, other services
  • Development and / or implementation of project / program evaluations, monitoring, technical studies
  • Commissioning and / or recommissioning and building optimizing assessments / studies
  • Onboarding, embedding, training or hiring energy managers or retrofit coordinators for client organizations
  • Selecting, configuring, operating, or training client organizations for the use of monitoring and tracking systems
  • Implementing or training for the use of energy benchmarking and reporting, and project monitoring and verification (M&V)
  • Application for, or achievement of, standards or labeling outcomes such as ISO 50001 energy management standard, BOMA Best, LEED or ENERGY STAR Certification, etc.
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication and awareness programs, including knowledge / information dissemination, hosting conferences and information sessions and training (including development and delivery)
  • Delivering design workshops
  • Technical studies / best practices to support innovative approaches for market transformation

Eligible Expenses

  • Salaries and benefits on the payroll of the Recipient for actual time spent by the employees on the project
  • Professional, scientific, technical, management, data collection and contracting services
  • Travel expenditures, including meals and accommodation, based on National Joint Council Rates
  • Advertising, recruitment and training (including trainer fees, costs of training development, promotion, deployment and evaluation)
  • License fees, data purchases, certification costs, and permits
  • Capital expenditures – informatics hardware and software (note: capital expenses for retrofits are ineligible)
  • Material, supplies and equipment rental (note: equipment installed as a part of a building retrofit is ineligible)
  • Rental of facilities, audio and visual services and other related costs (excluding hospitality and prizes) associated with delivering workshops, delivering training, conferences, meetings and other events
  • Overhead expenditures, provided they are related to the conduct of the project and can be attributed to it. Overhead expenditures may be included in the total project costs up to 15% of eligible expenditures
  • GST, PST or HST, net of any tax rebate to which the Recipient is entitled

What’s an Eligible Project

Projects must meet all the following:

  • Identifying and/or aggregating deep retrofit projects. – This includes activities towards identifying and/or aggregating deep retrofit projects that may span a large number of buildings across a given geographic area or market segment.
  • Guiding individual building owners in the process of developing and implementing specific deep retrofit projects. This includes activities supporting:
    • retrofit project pre-development, including but not limited to audits and measure identification, feasibility studies and business case development, and other activities associated with the development of a deep retrofit project;
    • project planning, design and management; and/or
    • implementation of deep retrofit projects, including but not limited to identifying and coordinating service providers, reporting, labelling, and measurement & verification. *This excludes capital expenditures to undertake retrofits.
  • Identifying available funding and financing for specific deep retrofit projects. This includes activities towards supporting building owners as they seek public and private sources of funding and financing (including but not limited to banks, utilities, government departments and agencies, crown corporations, retrofit lenders, and other entities).
  • Conducting capacity building activities, such as developing or implementing novel, standardized, or replicable approaches to deep retrofits. This includes capacity building activities addressing two or more of the following elements:
    • deep retrofit business case development
    • deep retrofit funding or financing applications, or financial due diligence processes
    • methods or tools to support energy or carbon audits that identify opportunities for deep retrofits and for optimizing energy performance
    • deep retrofit project management or implementation approaches
    • deep retrofit project reporting or measurement approaches

Project Criteria

Relevance of the project

The Program will assess how closely the project corresponds to the program objectives, whether it has a clear rationale for funding, and whether it includes relevant goals, objectives, outcomes, and indicators.

Relevant experience and capacity
  • Resources, personnel, and expertise to complete the project, such as:
  • mandate and/or experience and expertise
  • demonstrated commitment based on past or current projects
  • a qualified project delivery team with roles and responsibilities clearly established
  • institutional, management/organizational structures, financial controls, and other supports required to successfully deliver the project
Work plan and budget

The Program will assess the extent to which the project has:

  • a realizable project plan, including clearly defined deliverables, budget and timelines
  • a detailed risk analysis and mitigation strategy
  • a robust project evaluation and information dissemination plan
Quality of the application

The Program will assess the quality of the application, such as completeness, attention to detail, and clarity. The evaluation process may favour projects that include:

  • A focus on guiding owners of buildings occupied by households with low income. This includes, for instance, mid- or high-rise multi-unit residential buildings that:
    • are considered a community housing provider with an affordable housing purpose
    • buildings occupied in large part by households with low income (a household is considered low income if its income is below 50% of median household incomes)
    • Note: Applicants may be asked to attest to how they identify these buildings in their portfolio
  • A plan to address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) considerations. Applicants are encouraged to outline how they plan to foster participation of under-represented and/or under-resourced people and communities as part of their project.
  • A plan to address the needs of Indigenous peoples and communities. Applicants are encouraged to outline how they plan to identify or address risks, challenges and impacts, or benefits (such as improved community services and infrastructure, and capacity building) to Indigenous peoples and communities.

Final funding decisions will take into consideration the evaluation results, and other criteria such as the total funding requested per year and program budget availability, and the distribution of funding to projects across Canada.

If you’re interested, apply before the April 28, 2023 deadline.