What incentive rebates are available for common area retrofit projects?
There are several electrical and natural gas incentives available for energy-saving retrofits. Some of these incentives can provide a condominium with a rebate of up to 50 per cent of the project costs.
If a condominium is interested in electrical savings, the saveONenergy programs are offered through local utilities and are funded through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). A wide variety of retrofits qualify under saveONenergy, including lighting, carbon dioxide monitoring systems, controls, building envelope, variable frequency drives and building automation systems.
There are three different streams for the saveONenergy retrofits. The prescriptive option allows a condominium to simply select from a list of measures that come with a matching per-unit incentive. Through the engineering and custom tracks, lighting retrofits are generally eligible for $0.05 per kilowatt-hour saved and non-lighting retrofits are eligible for $0.10 per kilowatt-hour saved.
If a condominium is interested in natural gas savings, Enbridge offers incentive rebates for retrofits such as variable frequency drives or building automation systems. Upon the successful implementation of an eligible project, customers may receive an incentive payment based on a rate of $0.10 cubic metres of natural gas saved.
The incentive application process for saveONenergy and Enbridge are similar: the retrofit project must be approved prior to implementation. A condominium’s application and specifications will be reviewed by an incentive program technical advisor to ensure the retrofit meets the program requirements. Once the retrofit project is complete, additional documents and site visits are required.
Understanding all the fine print of the incentive programs can be confusing but most energy efficiency contractors will assist with the incentive application process as part of their scope of work. Make sure to ask the contractor to estimate the anticipated incentive and clarify who is responsible for the applications. Although incentives have been available for years, it is surprising how many condominiums are still not taking advantage of them.