Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is offering subsidies to implement the ISO 50001 energy management systems standard in commercial and institutional buildings. Private sector owners/managers and Indigenous communities can receive up to $40,000 directly, while industry associations, utilities and municipal/provincial/territorial government agencies are eligible for up to $200,000 to be dispersed at their discretion across multiple sites.
To qualify, buildings must be registered in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Proponents have until Oct. 7 to apply for funds to help defray the costs of feasibility studies, energy plan development, adoption measures and/or certification.
Like all ISO standards, 50001 is a framework for continuous improvement, requiring organizations to identify a baseline starting point and commit to a process for improving energy performance with rigorous monitoring to ensure compliance. Canada committed to promoting the standard in the industrial and commercial sectors in 2016 as part of the North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership, an agreement signed during the former tenures of United States President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Private sector building owners/managers are eligible for subsidies for up to 60 per cent, and not-for-profit proponents can receive allocations for up to 75 per cent of designated expenses, including:
- salary costs for staff time and work pertaining specifically to the energy management systems standard;
- professional, scientific and technical fees related to data collection, benchmarking, monitoring and analysis;
- purchase of instrumentation software and metering equipment;
- fees associated with obtaining ISO 50001 certification; and
- fees associated with training on the energy management systems standard.
Capital projects and retrofit work, purchase of equipment other than instrumentation software and metering equipment and costs related to ISO 50001 re-certification do not qualify. Projects must be undertaken during 2021-22 and can not be commenced until proponents have signed an agreement with NRCan.
Applications will be evaluated based on energy savings potential, project feasibility and completeness of the proposal. NRCan will explain further details of the program in a webinar in September.
Funding to promote ISO 50001 uptake aligns with Canada’s recently obtained membership in the Three Percent Club, a global coalition of nations, businesses and non-governmental organizations committed to achieving a three per cent annual increase in energy efficiency.