Save on Energy – Retrofit Program

By mmuise

The Save on Energy Retrofit program offers businesses in Ontario incentives to upgrade equipment, reduce energy bills, lower their carbon footprint and increase productivity. The incentives are designed to help businesses speed up their payback on energy-efficiency equipment upgrades. The program offers incentives in two streams:
- Custom stream for larger, more complex retrofit projects to capture greater energy savings;
- Prescriptive stream for targeted retrofit projects focusing on commonly used products and technologies.

Comments on Funding:

Funding capped at 50% of eligible costs and no cap on incentives.

Deadline: Continuous Intake

Applicants must be:

  • owners or lessees* of:
    a) commercial spaces or buildings, such as offices, retail and grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and warehouses,
    b) industrial facilities in sectors such as food and beverage, automotive, plastics, steel, mining, paper and chemical industries,
    c) institutional buildings, including hospitals, universities, municipal halls and arenas,
    d) multi-family buildings, such as apartments (including social housing) or condominiums,
    e) agricultural facilities, including dairy, swine or poultry farms, greenhouses and nurseries.
  • small, medium and large businesses in a range of industry sectors across Ontario.

    Lessees must have the owner’s consent or authorization to participate.
    To participate, the applicant's project must be pre-approved with a minimum incentive of $500.

    Examples of eligible projects include:
  • Lighting retrofits;
  • Lighting controls;
  • HVAC redesign;
  • Chiller replacement;
  • Variable-speed drive installations.
Application Steps:

Applicants must:

1. sign up for the Retrofit portal in order to apply. 2. receive a pre-approval for the project.

3. submit a Post-Project Submission within six (6) months of receipt of the Pre-Approval.

Documentation Needed:

No specific documentation has been identified.

Other Things to Note:

Nov. 2023:
This list of incentives has been updated to reflect changes made to the Retrofit program effective October 30, 2023. Check the website for detailed list.

1. Changes to the Save on Energy Retrofit program came into effect on October 12, 2022. Changes include:
a) new prescriptive measures that were proposed through the new measure submission process will be added to the prescriptive measures list;
b) incentive levels for select lighting products will be adjusted to reflect their saving opportunity;
c) new, higher tiers for motors and variable frequency drives will be added;
d) the eligibility criteria for demand controlled ventilation – interior conditioned spaces and for unitary AC equipment will be adjusted.
2. These Participant Incentives and Advance Incentives will apply only to those Projects in respect of which a Participant Agreement has been entered into no later than December 31, 2024 through Pre-Approval of an Application and the Measures have a Project completion date no later than December 31, 2025.
3. Participant eligibility from the Program Requirements document:
A Participant must:
a) be a Non-Residential Customer or Recognized Farm Operation that has not previously entered into a binding commitment to acquire the Measures or services required to install the Measures, provided that the IESO may waive this requirement where (A) the circumstances in Section 3.3(b)(ii) apply, or (B) where the Participant can demonstrate to the IESO’s satisfaction, at the IESO’s sole discretion, that the Participant intended to apply to the Retrofit Program prior to entering into a binding commitment; and
b) be a Social Housing Provider in order to qualify for the Social Housing Adder or SHP Advance Incentive.

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