Energy Efficiency Program Administration

Programs are often administered by natural gas and electric utility companies, but also by governments and dedicated ‘energy efficiency utilities’. 

Alberta

The Alberta government established the provincially-owned, not-for-profit crown corporation Energy Efficiency Alberta in 2017, with a mandate to deliver programs for energy efficiency and community energy systems. EEA was funded primarily through the Alberta carbon levy, but also receives funding from the federal government's Low Carbon Economy Leadership Funding.

Since the conclusion of EEA, the Government of Alberta has continued to deliver energy and emissions reductions programming, with focus on TIER funding mechanisms and programs, including the recently completed Industrial Energy Efficiency and Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage grant program, and the On-site Energy Managers and Strategic Energy Management programs. In addition, several external organizations are funded by the government to deliver energy and emissions reductions programs that address a wide range of sectors (e.g. commercial real-estate, manufacturing) and stakeholders (e.g. private businesses, Municipalities). These delivery agents include Emissions Reduction Alberta, the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, Carbon Capture International, and Alberta Innovates.

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) leads a number of programs connected to energy efficiency and renewable energy. AUMA's owned subsidiary organization, the AMSC, was designated as the program administrator for the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) in February 2021. Funding for MCCAC and CEIP was sourced from the Alberta carbon levy and the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Fund (TIER).

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

Electricity energy efficiency programs in BC are operated by BC Hydro (a crown corporation), under the PowerSmart brand. FortisBC also administers electricity efficiency programs in the Southern Interior Region of BC. Natural gas efficiency programs are administered by the FortisBC utility, as well as Pacific Northern Gas in northern regions. All utility programs are overseen by the British Columbia Utilities Commission and supported by ratepayer funds.

The Province's CleanBC climate plan (released in December 2018) includes programs to promote switching from fossil fuels to heat pump, wood stove efficiency programs, vehicle electrification, indigenous and remote community electrification, supports for commercial and residential retrofits, setting targets for renewable natural gas, supports for industrial electrification and carbon capture & storage, supports for organic waste landfill diversion, and incentives for clean energy training programs. Some programs are administered by the government, while some are administered by BC Hydro, FortisBC, or other third-party delivery providers, on behalf of the government. All programs are supported with taxpayer and industry sector funds (via the carbon tax or certain energy sales).

CleanBC is an online hub to access information on programs administered by the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, BC Hydro, FortisBC, and BC Housing. A rebate search tool for homes and electric vehicles, a single application process, free energy coaching services, a search tool to find EnerGuide rating system advisors and contractor directories, and information hubs for the Better Buildings program, Industry programs, Clean Transportation, Emissions from Waste, and Clean Energy jobs are among the resources available.

In October 2021, the CleanBC climate plan was enhanced through the release of an updated plan, the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. The CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 outlines new and expanded measures, aimed at meeting the Province of BC's emissions reduction targets for 2030 and setting the stage to reach net zero by 2050.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

Electricity and natural gas efficiency programs have historically both been administered by Manitoba Hydro (a Crown corporation), the provincially-owned utility company, under the Power Smart brand name.

In 2017, the provincial government introduced the Efficiency Manitoba Act, establishing a new crown corporation called Efficiency Manitoba, with a mandate to implement and support demand-side management programs to meet savings targets in both the electricity and natural gas sectors and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficiency Manitoba filed its first 3-year Efficiency Plan in October 2019, which was reviewed by the Public Utilities Board and received approval by the Minister of Conservation of Climate on March 31, 2020. Administration of energy efficiency programming in the province formally transferred to Efficiency Manitoba on April 1, 2020. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

Between 2005 and 2014, energy efficiency programming was administered by Efficiency New Brunswick, a not-for-profit crown corporation funded through the government budget. In 2014, the government introduced legislation to dissolve Efficiency NB and transfer responsibility for efficiency programming to the provincial utility.

New Brunswick Power administers both electric and non-electric efficiency programs (details are available at Save Energy NB). Electric programs are largely funded by ratepayers and are subject to annual review by the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB). Non-electric programs are supported through the federal government's Low-Carbon Economy Fund. All-fuel low-income programs are funded by the Government for New Brunswick.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

Energy efficiency programs are administered by two utility companies: Newfoundland Power (investor owned) and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (publicly owned).  Both utilities are regulated by the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (the Public Utilities Board). 

The government also administers efficiency programs, such as the low-income Home Energy Savings administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and other non-regulated fuels programs. Government programs are supported with funds from the Government of Canada’s Low-Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

The Arctic Energy Alliance administers energy efficiency programs, funded through the territorial government and federal contributions through the federal government's Low-Carbon Economy Leadership fund.

The NWT Public Utility Board (PUB) regulates all energy from public utilities. The programs offered by the AEA tackle both residential and commercial customers and offer both financial and non-financial incentives to help increase energy efficiency uptake in NWT.

Last reviewed:  November 2022

Nova Scotia

Efficiency Nova Scotia administers electricity and non-regulated fuel programs in Nova Scotia. Efficiency Nova Scotia was established as an independent, non-profit corporation in 2010, becoming Canada's first 'energy efficiency utility'. In 2014, the government converted the role of demand-side administrator to a franchise, granted for the first 10 years to EfficiencyOne (the former Efficiency Nova Scotia corporation).

Electricity efficiency programs are funded through rates, and subject to oversight by the Utility and Review Board (UARB). Non-electric programs are primarily funded by the provincial and federal governments, and are governed by fee-for-service agreements with the Province.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

Efficiency strategies are run under the Climate Change Secretariat created in 2016.

The Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC) operates standalone power systems sized to meet municipal demands. In 2005, QEC created the Nunavut Energy Center to run energy efficiency programs, which closed in 2009.

Nunavut Housing Corporation administers a Home Renovation Program.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Electricity

Electricity “Conservation and Demand Management (CDM)” programs operated under the Conservation First Framework (CFF) between 2015 and 2019.

Under this framework, Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) had responsibility for program administration under their licenses, and were responsible for developing individuals plans to meet their share of provincial energy saving targets. LDCs were required to meet established energy efficiency targets under CFF as a condition of their licence through the OEB. The IESO coordinated these activities under the “Save on Energy” brand, and also administered programs for transmission-connected customers under the Industrial Accelerator Program.

A Ministerial Directive issued on March 20th, 2019 prematurely ended the CFF and replaced it with an 'Interim Framework', which revoked LDC CDM license conditions and centralized administration of programs by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).  In September 2020, a 2021-2024 framework was defined by ministerial directive.

The 2021-2024 CDM framework continues to be centrally administered by the IESO, under the Save on Energy brand.

While the IESO administers electricity conservation programs in Ontario, the Ontario Energy Board released updated CDM Guidelines for electricity conservation in December, 2021.

Natural Gas

Natural gas energy efficiency programs in Ontario are administered by Enbridge Gas Inc. under five-year demand-side management plans, as mandated by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

In June 2020, the OEB authorized a one-year extension of the 2015-2020 DSM Plan.  A similar extension was authorized for 2022. The Ontario Energy Board conducted a procedural assessment of Enbridge Gas Inc's 2023-2027 DSM Plan Application and on November 15, 2022, approved a modified DSM plan under a shortened timeframe. Rather than five-years, the plan will run for three years, from January 2023 to December 2025, to allow for greater flexibility to respond to changing energy landscapes, and policy and technology developments.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

The 2016/2017 PEI Energy Strategy called for establishment of an independent energy efficiency utility with a mandate to pursue efficiency for all fuels. An Act to Amend the Electric Power Act, passed in December 2017, made the PEI Energy Corporation a public utility for the purposes of energy efficiency and demand side resources. The PEI Energy Corporation is a crown corporation under the department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. The Corporation can submit energy efficiency plans to the province’s utility commission (The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission), and the Act requires that each public utility affected by the commission’s approval of an energy efficiency plan pay relevant costs.

The PEI Energy Corporation has delegated efficiencyPEI to act as the service agency for its efficiency and conservation. efficiencyPEI commenced operations in 2008 as a government department, and was formerly known as the Office of Energy Efficiency. The changes noted above changed efficiencyPEI’s parent company to the PEI Energy Corporation.

A 2018-2021 demand side management plan included a consistent ramp-up in savings and required evaluation of program savings by a third-party (which was not previously the case). A 2022-2025 demand side management plan has been filed with the regulator which includes updated savings targets, programming, enabling strategies and continued external evaluation.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

Hydro-Québec has operated electricity DSM programs since the early 1990s. The provincial energy board (Régie de l’énergie) approves efficiency initiatives as a component of rate cases and electricity supply plans. In October 2019, Hydro-Quebec announced the creation of a new subsidiary named Hilo, focused on smart energy management. In December 2019, Bill 34 simplified the process for establishing electricity distribution rates and now requires Hydro-Québec to apply to the Régie de l’énergie to request it to set new electricity distribution rates, or modify the existing rates, every five years (including DSM program budget).

Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro) is the major natural gas distributor and natural gas energy efficiency administrator. Gazifère is a natural gas provider in Gatineau that also administers energy efficiency programs, under Gazifère Green branding.

A government energy efficiency agency has existed in Quêbec since the 1970s, originally named the “Bureau des économies d’énergie” (1977) and renamed “l’agence de l’efficacité énergetique” in 1996. In 2008, a “quote part” fuel charge on all fuel distributors was introduced to fund this agency. In 2011, the office was renamed the “Bureau de l’efficacité et l’innovation énergétiques” (BEIE) (Energy Efficiency and Innovation Office) and placed within the Ministry of Natural Resources. In December 2016, the BEIE was closed and a new state corporation with an executive director and board of directors was created, called Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ). 

TEQ was funded through the “quote part”, cap and trade revenues dispersed from the Green Fund, and an Energy Transition Fund supported by petroleum royalties. TEQ developed a five year master plan on energy transition, innovation, and energy efficiency. In June 2019, the government announced that TEQ would be brought under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as part of a restructuring of the governance of the provincial Green Fund. The “Master Plan” will be maintained, but adopted to consider new goals on electrification and climate change.

Bill 44, tabled in October 2019 and adopted in November 2020, changed the name of the Green Fund to the “Electrification and Climate Change Fund”, abolishing the Green Fund management council and transferring responsibilities to the Minister of the Environment and the fight against climate change, abolishing TEQ and placing the “master plan” under the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

On June 10, 2022, the Energy Transition, Innovation and Efficiency Master Plan was updated and extended until 2026.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

Natural gas programs are administered by SaskEnergy.  SaskPower administers some outreach and education programs, but does not target electricity savings.  Both are provincially-owned utilities.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Yukon

The Yukon Government Energy Branch offers a comprehensive suite of incentive programs targeting residential, commercial and institutional clients across the territory including support for new construction, building retrofits, energy efficient appliances, and clean transportation. Support is offered through the Yukon government's Good Energy programs.

In 2021, the Yukon government partnered with the Yukon Conservation Society to assist them with the delivery of their electric thermal storage pilot project.

The Yukon Housing Corporation supports energy retrofits in buildings through low interest loans and a First Nation housing retrofit program.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Energy Efficiency Targets

Energy efficiency targets give clear direction to program administrators and energy system managers, pushing them to achieve higher savings than they might otherwise, and reinforcing the concept of efficiency as a quantifiable resource.

Alberta

There are no formal energy savings targets in Alberta, though some programs have emissions reduction goals. 

Emissions Reduction Alberta's Energy Savings for Business program has an objective of 1.1M tCO2e of net lifetime GHG savings. This goal is fuel neutral, and will be achieved primarily through electricity or natural gas savings.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

British Columbia’s 2008 Clean Energy Act set an objective for BC Hydro to reduce its expected increase in demand by at least 66% between 2008 and 2020 through energy efficiency and conservation. There are no legislated targets for natural gas savings. However, FortisBC voluntarily adopted this target, and subsequently increased it to 80%. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

The Efficiency Manitoba Act legislates long term energy efficiency savings targets over 15 years (2020-2035) of minimum net annual electricity savings at least equal to 1.5% of electricity consumption in the immediately preceding year, and minimum net annual natural gas savings equal to 0.75% of natural gas consumption in the immediately preceding year.

Any shortfalls and surpluses in annual net savings carry forward over the 15-year period to reach cumulative annual percentage savings equal to 22.5% for electricity and 11.25% for natural gas.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

NB Power files its estimated annual incremental energy savings targets and associated budgets with the NB EUB as part of its annual General Rate Application.

There are no legislated targets.  The Climate Action Plan, ‘Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy’, released in December 2016, called for efficiency initiatives at “performance levels in leading jurisdictions”, quoting a range of 1.5 – 1.75% of sales per year, though no current formal target exists. 

Bill 99 was given Royal Assent June 10, 2022. This bill allows electricity efficiency targets and dedicated funding for non-electric programs in regulations.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

The utitilies’ TakeCHARGE program energy savings targets are approved by and reported to the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. The 2021-2025 CDM plan was submitted to the regulator in 2021. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, electricity savings targets are approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB), under the current 2020-2022 demand side management plan and upcoming 2023-2025 DSM Resource Plan which was approved by the UARB September 6, 2022. Non-electricity targets are published in the Efficiency Nova Scotia business plan.

There are no targets in policy or regulation.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

The NWT’s 2030 Energy Strategy, released in May 2018, aims to increase commercial, residential, and institutional building energy efficiency by 15% by 2030. Reduce GHG emissions from transportation by 10% per capita, and reduce GHG  from electricity generation in diesel-powered communities by an average of 25%.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

No targets identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Electricity
Under Ontario’s previous Conservation First Framework for 2015-2020 targets 7 TWh of cumulative annual electricity savings from programs operated by local distribution companies and 1.7 TWh of cumulative annual savings from large industrial transmission-connected customers. Ontario’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan targets 30 TWh of cumulative annual electricity savings in 2032, estimated to offset almost all forecast growth in electricity demand.

Electricity savings targets under the “interim framework” operating from April 1, 2019 – Dec 31, 2020 targeted 1.4 TWh in energy savings and 189 MW in demand savings. The annual electrical energy savings target was equal to about 0.6% of sales, and represented roughly half of previous budgets and savings targets.

The 2021-2024 CDM Framework targets are 2.7 TWh of electricity savings and 440 MW of peak demand savings from programs centrally delivered by the IESO.

Natural Gas
Under the 2015-2020 Demand Side Management plan, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) adjusted annual targets based on the previous years’ cost-effectiveness (see Board's Decision EB-2015-0029/49). The OEB approved the continuation of this plan through the end of 2022 while Enbridge Gas filed a DSM application on September 29, 2021 seeking approval of a five-year, from 2023 to 2027. The plan was approved in November 2022. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

The 2016/17 provincial energy strategy calls for ramping up to annual electricity savings of 2% per year by 2020, or just under 30 GWh/year under a static load assumption. The plan calls for savings to start at 0.4% of load in 2017 and ramp up.

Annual electricity savings targets in the PEI Energy Corporation 2018-2021 Demand Side Management Resource Plan were approved by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. A new three-year plan will be submitted to the regulator in 2021.

A new Demand Side Management plan was submitted to the regulator in the Spring of 2022 covering a three year period. The process is ongoing.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

Government directive 537-2017 directed Transition énergétique Québec to create a 2018-2023 Master Plan. This directive sought energy efficiency improvements of at least 1% per year, on average, and to reduce by at least 5% the total consumption of petroleum products from a 2013 base year.

The resulting TEQ 2018-2023 Master Plan estimated an improvement in energy efficiency by about 1.2% per year, on average. This is an economy-wide target, which includes indirect changes from technological improvements and structural changes as well as the impact of initiatives outside of Québec. The Province states that the initiatives within the plan are expected to improve efficiency by 0.6% per year (9.9 petajoules), which is higher than the 0.4% or 7.3 petajoules achieved from 2012 to 2017.

The plan also aims to reduce petroleum use by 12% in 2023 compared to 2013 levels - more than the government’s directive to reduce consumption by 5% by 2023 as a first step towards the 2030 Energy Plan’s target of a 40% reduction in 2030.

The 2018-2023 Master Plan is a major policy tool of the 2030 Energy Plan, which calls for a 2030 objective to improve energy efficiency 15% from a 2013 base year. In June 2022, an update to the Master Plan identified measures required to be taken through 2026 in order to meet the 2030 goals.

In November 2020, the Province of Quebec unveiled its Plan for a Green Economy. The plan reiterates the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37.5% by 2030 compared to their 1990 level.

Hydro- Québec will contribute to this Plan and has raised its energy savings objectives to support the electrification of the economy. The utility’s revised objectives are available in the 2021 Progress Report of the 2020-2029 Supply Plan.

Énergir 2019-2023 plan targets natural gas savings equivalent to about 0.7% of sales, rising to 0.9% in 2023.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

SaskEnergy has internal natural gas savings targets. SaskPower no longer pursues electricity savings.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Yukon

The Yukon’s energy strategy, released in 2009, has a target to increase energy efficiency in Yukon by 20% by 2020.

In 2020, the Yukon released a new climate change mitigation strategy, Our Clean Future. The strategy identified a territory wide GHG reduction target of 30% below 2010 levels, which increased to 45% in May 2021. The plan includes making homes and buildings more energy efficient through retrofitting.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

Energy efficiency is a quantifiable resource just like natural gas, oil or wind turbine. This section describes policies and procedures in each jurisdiction that formalize energy efficiency in energy resource planning.

Alberta

Alberta is one of few jurisdictions in North America in which energy conservation is not incorporated into utility resource planning. One exception is the Medicine Hat Electric and Natural Gas Utility, which does offer ratepayer-funded programs.

Discussions with utilities took place in 2020 to understand the barriers they face to implement energy efficiency programs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

The BC Utilities Commission Act requires utilities to consider cost-effective demand-side measures first, and to explain to the regulator why subsequently proposed supply-side investments could not be met with demand-side management. The 2019 Energy Statutes Amendment Act removed BC Hydro’s former exemption from this requirement.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

The Efficiency Manitoba Act gives Efficiency Manitoba the responsibility to execute and promote demand side management programs in Manitoba. The Act defines the mandate as to “mitigate the impact of rate increases and delay the point at which capital investments in major new generation and transmission projects will be required by Manitoba Hydro to serve the needs of Manitobans” (Section 4(1)(c)).

Manitoba Hydro provides system marginal cost information to Efficiency Manitoba for their use in developing energy efficiency programs. Efficiency Manitoba provides annual capacity and energy savings to Manitoba Hydro, which are incorporated into the resource planning process as a supply side resource.

Manitoba Hydro annually prepares a supply and demand analysis document with updated load forecast, energy efficiency forecast, and existing resource assumptions to determine the potential requirement for additional resources beyond the committed energy efficiency resources.

The need for new resources in Manitoba is driven by Manitoba Hydro’s planning criteria which specifies a planning reserve margin above peak load net of energy efficiency. In addition to the capacity criterion, as a predominately hydro system, Manitoba Hydro is required to plan to have adequate energy resources to supply its firm energy demand in the event of a design drought.

In 2022 the province noted that it is moving towards an Integrated Resource Planning process. Manitoba Hydro is in the midst of developing its first Integrated Resource Plan that is anticipate to be completed in 2023.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

When developing its Integrated Resource Plan, NB Power looks at supply side resources (new generating stations) and demand side resources (energy efficiency, demand response and smart grid). Demand side resources are essential to developing a least-cost plan.

Previously, Bill 39 Climate Change Act and the Climate Change Action Plan outlined GHG targets levels and related actions. The Climate Change Action Plan directed NB Power, the delivery agent under Item 33, to provide:

  1. clear performance-based targets for program-delivery services, in line with potential for efficiency gain in New Brunswick and performance levels in leading jurisdictions; i.e., in the range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 per cent of sales per year;
  2. sustained funding, including financial incentives and financing mechanisms, to support enhanced progressive long-term programs;
  3. expanded capacity and programs to support low-income New Brunswickers;
  4. active promotion and recruitment of participants to enhance program uptake;
  5. training for building contractors through partnerships with the New Brunswick Home Builders’ Association and other stakeholders;
  6. coverage of all sectors (i.e., transportation, industry, commercial, residential) and all fuels;
  7. the scope to include distributed clean energy options such as solar, wind and bio-energy;
  8. performance auditing and reporting periodically; and
  9. legislative and regulatory authority to enable energy efficiency delivery agents to meet the above conditions

In November, 2022, the province released an updated Climate Change Plan 2022-2027 in which items 7, 8, 11, and 17 outline energy efficiency priorities. These include strengthening investments and broadening the scope of energy efficiency and demand-side management initiatives and setting clear electricity efficiency performance targets and reporting requirements for NB Power.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

The utilities complete 5-year conservation and demand management plans. A new 2021-2025 plan was submitted to the regulator in 2021. 

This plan incorporates electrification initiatives. The Plan is currently being reviewed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. 

The most recent potential study was completed in 2019, covering the 2020-2034 time period.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

An Act Respecting Electricity Efficiency and Conservation (2014) established Efficiency Nova Scotia as an “energy efficiency utility” that acts as an independent franchise with the exclusive right to supply electricity and conservation to Nova Scotia Power Incorporated.

The act states that Nova Scotia Power “shall undertake cost-effective electricity efficiency and conservation activities that are reasonably available in an effort to reduce costs for its customers” (Section 79(I)(1).  This does not mean all cost-effective DSM. The Act further states that the utility board takes into account “affordability” to customers (Sect 79L(9)). Affordability (i.e. rate versus bill impacts) is not defined.

Varying levels of DSM investment in the near to mid-term are examined during the development of an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).  There is no fixed schedule for IRPs in Nova Scotia, but they are generally completed every 3-5 years.  Efficiency Nova Scotia supports the IRP process by developing DSM Potential Studies in advance of each IRP.

In early 2021, Nova Scotia Power released its final Integrated Resource Plan, which included deep decarbonization scenarios.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

No policies identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

No activities identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Electricity
Planning for Ontario's electricity needs comprises two processes: (1) bulk system planning and (2) regional planning.

1. Bulk system planning

Bulk system planning focuses on the electricity resources that transmit energy from the generation source to local distribution companies across the province. The IESO’s bulk system planning processes address provincial electricity needs and consider the impacts of various factors on the electricity system, including policy directions, the supply/demand balance, operability requirements and others.

(a) Reliability Outlook

The Reliability Outlook guides operational planning in Ontario. The report presents Ontario’s demand forecast and associated drivers, resource adequacy projections and the assumptions that inform them, as well as an assessment of operability and the province’s transmission assets. Published quarterly, this Outlook provides insights over an 18-month planning horizon. IESO-funded conservation frameworks and the Capacity Auction are treated as resources and incorporated into the demand forecast in the Reliability Outlook. The quarterly reports are available here.

(b) Annual Planning Outlook

The Annual Planning Outlook (APO) is a 20-year forecast for Ontario's electricity system and includes projected electricity demand, a resource adequacy assessment, transmission considerations, and performance indicators, and identifies the province's energy and capacity needs. The report provides these long-term adequacy requirements to inform investment and asset management decisions. The APO incorporates Energy Efficiency program frameworks into the demand forecast, including existing IESO-funded conservation frameworks, committed IESO-funded conservation frameworks, programs funded by the federal and municipal governments as well as assumed long-term conservation frameworks. The 2021 APO is available here.

(c) Annual Acquisition Report

Along with the yearly publication of the APO, the Annual Acquisition Report (AAR) is intended to provide the marketplace with annual sources of information so as to understand Ontario’s forecasted needs, along with the proposed acquisition activities to satisfy those needs. With this information, existing and potential proponents will be better positioned to make decisions about assets and services they can bring to the market to address Ontario’s reliability needs. The Resource Adequacy Framework outlined in the AAR sets out a multi-pronged approach to cumulatively address needs over the three planning horizons: operations planning, near-term planning and long-term planning; as well as addressing circumstances where a competitive procurement is not feasible at a certain point in time or would not produce the best outcome. The AAR identifies energy efficiency as a resource to help address emerging system needs over the next decade, including helping to lower capacity and energy needs. In addition, the AAR also outlines energy efficiency playing a key role in the implementation of future decarbonization policies. The AAR is available here.

2. Regional Planning

Regional planning considers local electricity priorities within each of the province’s 21 electricity planning regions. This process considers each region’s unique needs, priorities and preferences. Options to satisfy local demand may include generation, transmission and distribution, and/or other innovative resources or solutions. Regional planning reports are available here.

Natural Gas
The OEB approved a new framework for natural gas integrated resource planning in 2021. The plan restricts non-pipe alternatives to large infrastructure projects, and excludes consideration of electricity-based alternatives.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

Section 16.1 of the Electric Power Act states that the utility commission may order a utility to submit an energy efficiency demand side resources plan or that a public utility may submit one for approval.  There is no mandate requiring PEI utilities to pursue energy efficiency.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

The government directive 537-2017 orders Transition énergétique Québec to develop a master plan for the years 2018-2023 that prioritizes energy efficiency as the first resource. This is a guiding philosophy rather than a specific directive to optimize all possible energy efficiency as a supply option.

Regulated energy distributors submit “supply plans” (Plan d’approvisionnement) that describe how to meet Québec market demands (art. 72 de la Loi sur la Régie de l'énergie). These plans include energy efficiency and demand side measures.

Hydro-Québec's latest 2020-2029 Supply Plan notably incorporates energy savings and power management forecasts and was filed with the Régie in November 2019 and can be viewed here.

 The supply plan is submitted for authorization every three years to the Régie de l'énergie. A progress report for this plan is submitted for the interim years.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

There is not a provincial mandate to purse energy efficiency in Saskatchewan, through a regulated process with the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel. However, the Government of Saskatchewan's Climate Resilience Framework identifies SaskPower's energy efficiency programs as part of the provincial climate change strategy.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Yukon

In 2020, an Order in Council was passed that directed the Yukon Utilities Board to include in the rates of public utilities, for retail customers and major industrial customers, provision to recover costs the public utility reasonably incurs to provide or participate in a demand-side management program.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Efficiency Potential Study and Energy Planning

This section catalogues studies to estimate energy efficiency savings potential and the integration of efficiency into energy planning.

Alberta

The Energy Efficiency Alberta Act 2016 mandated Energy Efficiency Alberta to annually complete and provide to the Minister of Environment and Parks a multi-year business plan approved by the board.

These plans were to include:

  • The budget for the fiscal years to which the plan relates
  • The goals, objectives, and targets for the fiscal years to which the plan relates
  • Any additional information requested by the Minister

An efficiency potential study for the years 2019-2038 was prepared for Energy Efficiency Alberta in October 2018.

In 2021 the Government of Alberta released both the Natural Gas Strategy and the Hydrogen roadmap. Energy efficiency was not widely discussed in either report.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

Under the Clean Energy Act, BC Hydro is required to submit an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to the BC Utilities Commission every five years (Sect 3). BC Hydro published an IRP in November, 2013. In 2016, a review of this strategy was undertaken. A revised conservation potential study has been developed and will be included in the utility's next IRP. BC Hydro filed its most recent IRP with the BC Utilities Commission in December 2021.

FortisBC released its long-term electricity resource plan (LTERP) in 2021 and its long-term natural gas resource plan (LTGRP) in 2017.  FortisBC’s 2017 natural gas Conservation Potential Review (CPR) was appended to its 2017 LTGRP, and its 2021 electric CPR was appended to its 2021 LTERP.  Both plans are completed independently, though in consideration of BC Hydro's Integrated Resource Plan. FortisBC’s 2021 natural gas Conservation Potential Review (CPR) was appended to its 2022 LTGRP filed May, 2022.

FortisBC electric and natural gas utilities both submitted new Demand Side Management Expenditures Plans for regulatory approval in 2022.  FortisBC submitted a five-year (2023-2027) electric and one-year (2023) gas DSM Expenditure Plan. FortisBC's 2023 gas DSM Expenditure Plan is intended to serve as a bridging plan, prior to expected provincial amendments to the Demand-side Measures Regulation that will impact eligible natural gas energy efficiency investments.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

Efficiency Manitoba develops energy efficiency plans on a three-year cycle. They submitted the 2020-2023 Energy Efficiency Plan to the regulator on October 25th, 2019. The plan was approved in 2020. The forecast DSM savings (electric energy, electric capacity, natural gas energy) were provided to Manitoba Hydro to include in its resource planning process.

Efficiency Manitoba issued an RFP for an integrated DSM market potential study and bids closed May 20, 2021. They are in the process of completing an integrated market potential study that will inform its future energy efficiency plans and will provide the basis for information used as an input in Manitoba Hydro's integrated resource plan. This integrated study includes energy efficiency, fuel switching, distributed generation, demand response and electric vehicles.

Manitoba Hydro is in the midst of developing its first Integrated Resource Plan that is anticipate to be completed in 2023.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Power's Integrated Resource Plans are revised every three years. The most recent plan was published in 2020 and covers 2020-2040.

NB Power and the Government of New Brunswick released a long-term, multi-fuel demand-side management potential study in 2019. The study quantified energy and demand savings potential from multiple DSM sources.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Electrification, Conservation and Demand Management Plan: 2021-2025 was submitted to the Board on December 16, 2020. It remains under reviewed. This is the fourth consecutive plan implemented by Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro under the takeCHARGE partnership.

The next potential study is expected to be completed in 2024 to create the following five year plan (2026-2030).

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

No potential studies or energy efficiency plans identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

On November 27, 2020, Nova Scotia Power released its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). This IRP delved further into Distributed Energy Solutions, Electrification Activities, and Demand Response. Base DSM levels (about 130 GWh per year) were used to produce the resource plan with the lowest income demand. Demand Response levels of around 70 MW were also chosen.

In 2022, NS Power has commenced an "Evergreen IRP process" associated with the 2021 IRP Process. This process is intended to provide updated modelling associated with the 2021 IRP. This process is expected to continue throughout 2022.

Although there is no fixed schedule for IRPs in Nova Scotia, they are generally completed every three to five years.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

No potential studies or energy efficiency plans identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan was completed in 2017. This document is informed by the IESO Planning Outlook, published on September 11, 2016. Forecasts were updated by the IESO during a September 13, 2018 Technical Planning Conference.

On September 30, 2019, the IESO and the Ontario Energy Board completed the first integrated electricity and natural gas conservation achievable potential study (2019 APS). The 2019 APS identifies and quantifies energy (electricity and natural gas) and demand savings, GHG emissions reduction, and associated costs from energy efficiency measures for the period of 2019-2038.

In January 2020, the IESO released a 20-year forecast for Ontario's electricity system, the Annual Planning Outlook (APO). The APO includes projected electricity demand, a resource adequacy assessment, transmission considerations, and performance indicators, such as an emissions outlook, and identifies the province's energy and capacity needs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

efficiencyPEI conducted a ten-year Electricity Only Potential Study, which was completed in the spring of 2021.

The 2022-2025 Electricity Efficiency & Conservation Plan was submitted to the regulator in December 2021. The plan has not yet been approved.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

The techno-economic potential study on the reduction of petroleum product consumption in the Quebec transport sector was completed in November 2013.

The last natural gas efficiency potential study was completed in 2017 by Energir. Énergir will have to develop a 2024-2026 EMPP and submit it to the Régie de l'énergie for budget approval in spring 2023.

Hydro-Québec submits a Supply Plan every three years, which considers the energy efficiency of equipment, Hydro-Québec programs and that of the various programs developed by Transition énergétique Québec. Hydro Quebec's most recent electricity supply plan was completed in November 2019, and includes forecasts for energy savings and power management.

On June 10, 2022, the province's Master Plan for Energy Transition, Innovation and Efficiency, which aims to improve energy efficiency and reduce consumption of petroleum products, was updated and extended until 2026.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

At the end of 2017, SaskPower conducted a Conservation Potential Review that identified the electricity savings and demand reductions available in Saskatchewan. There have been no updates since this review. 

In 2020, SaskPower performed a beneficial electrification study to determine the potential fuel switching from fossil fuels to electricity for residential, commercial, and industrial technologies. The research included cost savings for consumers and SaskPower, the feasibility of technology deployment, possible GHG reductions, and anticipated load increase.

Last review: November 2022

Yukon

Yukon conducted a Electricity Conservation and Demand Management Potential Review in January of 2012.

Building on Yukon Energy Corporation’s 2019 five-year strategic plan and the Government of Yukon’s 2020 Our Clean Future strategy, Yukon Energy’s 2020 10-Year Renewable Electricity Plan outlines a portfolio of key projects and partnerships needed by 2030 to address the substantial demand for renewable electricity that will result from the ongoing economic growth of the territory, and from the policies and actions outlined in Our Clean Future.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Cost-Effectiveness Testing

Utility regulators and other policymakers can require that the benefits of energy efficiency program portfolios outweigh their costs. There are 5 principle cost-effectiveness tests, according to the California Standard Practice Manual, each including different costs and benefits.

Alberta

Prior to its closure, Energy Efficiency Alberta used a variety of cost-effectiveness tests, including Societal Abatement Cost, Program Abatement Cost and Total Resource Cost. The tests were used at all levels (portfolio, program and measure). 

Alberta Environment and Parks evaluates all programs (e.g. Strategic Energy Management - now concluded) for cost-effectiveness, return on investment, job creation and support, as well as societal and environmental benefits.

Cost-effectiveness tests used by other departments and program administrations are unknown.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

Tests used: Modified Total Resource Cost (mTRC) test with non-energy benefits and/or 15% benefit adder; Utility Cost Test (UCT); Total Resource Cost (TRC) test is used to evaluate DSM measures, offers, projects for cost-effectiveness.

The “Demand Side Measures Regulation” (BC Reg 117/2017) to the Utilities Commission Act establishes rules for cost-effectiveness testing for all utilities. Cost-effectiveness can be assessed at the level of an individual measure, a portfolio of measures, or the portfolio as a whole (Section 4 (1)).

The regulation specifies that utility commissions apply a modified Total Resource Cost (mTRC) test. The avoided cost of electricity is set to the long-run marginal cost of clean electricity (i.e., rather than spot market prices) as well. Up to 40% of a natural gas DSM portfolio can use the mTRC as the primary cost-effectiveness test (provided it passes the Utility Cost Test). The benefits of the mTRC may also be increased to account for participant or non-energy benefits (Sect 4(1.1)(c)(i). Measures without non-energy benefits are assigned a uniform 15% benefit adder, and the entire portfolio must receive a 15% benefit adder or greater if non-energy benefits warrant it (Section 4(1.1)(c)(ii).

There are limits to the extent to which programs passing screening due to non-energy benefits are included in portfolios (section 4(1.5)). The commission can also determine that a program is not cost-effective if it fails the utility cost test (Section 4(1.8)). The regulation prohibits the screening of programs based on the ratepayer impact measure test (Section 4(6)).

BC Hydro uses both the TRC and UCT, and does not classify either of them as the 'primary' test. The TRC/mTRC, as defined in the Demand-side Measures Regulation, is used to assess DSM against the long run marginal cost of new clean electricity within BC. The UCT uses BC Hydro's Reference Price as the avoided cost of energy, which reflects export market prices during times of system surplus, and the long-run marginal cost of new clean electricity during times of system deficit. BC Hydro makes decisions based on cost-effectiveness at the program and portfolio level.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

Primary Test: Program Administrator Cost Test
Secondary Test: Lifecycle Revenue Impact Metric

The Efficiency Manitoba Act allows for additional reductions above mandated savings targets, if those reductions can be achieved in a cost-effective manner (Sect 4(1)(b)).  It requires the public utility board to review cost-effectiveness (Sect 11(4)), and gives it the ability to make regulations on the rules determining cost-effectiveness (Sect 40(3)(b)).

Efficiency Manitoba’s first 3-year plan uses the program administrator cost test to measure cost-effectiveness of the plan, as prescribed by regulation. The lifecycle revenue impact metric is used as a simplified indicator of the rate impacts of the plan, and the plan provides both a rate and bill impact assessment.

Both tests are completed at the portfolio level. Overall cost-effectiveness of the Efficiency Manitoba electric and natural gas portfolios were demonstrated within the approved 2020-23 Efficiency Plan to have a PACT greater than 1.0.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

NB Power uses the Program Administrator Cost Test as its primary screening test, applied at the program level. The participant cost test is used as a secondary test.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

The 2021-2025 Electrification, Conservation and Demand Management Plan screens programs based on the Total Resource Cost Test (primary) and the Program Administrator Cost Test (secondary). Electrification measures are screened using a modified Total Resource Cost test (mTRC), and rate impacts are validated through a rate impact analysis.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

Primary test: Total Resource Cost Test (TRC)
Secondary test: Program Administrator Cost Test 

The Total Resource Cost Test, at the program level, is the principal screening tool for cost-effectiveness, and the Program Administrator Cost test is reported for informational purposes in DSM plans.  

Non-energy benefits are not included in the TRC.  The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has ruled (M08888, Letter 80859) that it does not possess the jurisdiction to allow inclusion of non-energy benefits in the TRC.

Efficiency Nova Scotia is currently exploring the addition of carbon market effects (market price of carbon) as an additional avoided cost within cost-effectiveness testing, by request of the NSUARB. Findings and recommendations are expected within 2021.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Northwest Territories

No cost-effectiveness testing information identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

No cost effectiveness testing information identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Under the 2019-2020 Interim Framework, the Total Resource Cost Test (TRC) is the principal test for electricity conservation and demand management, applies at the program level. The Program Administrator Cost test (PAC) is also reported, as well as the Levelized Unit Energy Cost. There is a 15 per cent benefit adder on the TRC accounts for non-energy benefits.

Enbridge reported that the Natural gas utility programs are screened using the TRC+, at the program level, under the 2015-2020 framework (as well as the 2021 and 2022 transition plans), which adds a 15 per cent non-energy adder. The Ontario Energy Board instructed the gas utility to include the cost of carbon (i.e. the federal price) in the TRC+ cost effectiveness test in its Mid-Term Review Report. As a backup, PAC is used as a secondary reference.

In accordance with the IESO's Cost-Effectiveness Guide, the IESO only implements CDM programs that demonstrate positive cost benefit benchmarks when jointly considered as a portfolio. The Energy Affordability program and on-reserve First Nation programs are not required to meet cost-benefit benchmarks and are excluded from the portfolio of CDM programs required to meet such benchmarks.

PAC is the principal test for electricity conservation and demand management applied at the program and portfolio levels for the 2021-2024 CDM Framework. Levelized unit energy and demand costs are also reported. TRC will also be calculated for internal reporting purposes. The 15 per cent benefit adder to the TRC is replaced by actual non-energy benefits valuation on a sector level (e.g. low-income, commercial, industrial) which resulted from a 2021 Non-Energy Benefits study.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

Primary: Program Administrator Cost Test (PAC)
Secondary: Total resource cost test (TRC)

The PEI Energy Strategy called for a cost-effectiveness screening framework that considers a societal perspective, including non-energy benefits.

efficiencyPEI used PAC, at the portfolio level, in its proposed 2018-2021 DSM Resource Plan. TRC is used at the measure level as a secondary test. efficiencyPEI continues to use PAC and TRC tests in all program evaluations.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

Electricity
Principal test: Total Resource Cost test and participant test, applied at program level. 

Secondary use of rate impact test.

Natural Gas
Principal test: Total Resource cost test, applied at a mix of program and measure levels. One program might involve a single measure (e.g. thermostats), and some program categorizations are high level. 

The participant test and rate impact measure is also reported.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

No cost-effectiveness test is in use at SaskPower for externally administered energy efficiency programs.

SaskEnergy is developing more comprehensive cost-effectiveness tests in 2022-23.

Last review: November 2022

Yukon

The Yukon Five Year Demand Side Management Plan (2013) screened each program using the total resource cost test (TRC), program administrator cost test (PAC), participant cost test (PCT), and rate impact measure (RIM).

In addition, the 2017/18 GRA application by Yukon Energy to the Yukon Utility Board (YUB) included the same cost-effectiveness tests (PCT, PAC, RIM, and TRC).

Yukon government energy programs are not subjected to cost-effectiveness testing.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

EM&V is important for demonstrating program effectiveness, increasing transparency and building support for energy efficiency programming.

Alberta

Emissions Reduction Alberta's Energy Savings for Business is a prescriptive program with deemed savings. Savings assumptions are reviewed by a third party prior to program launch. Participant level verification is conducted internally to confirm that supported systems are installed as approved. The program is not evaluated by an independent third-party.

The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre offers a variety of programs which fund prescriptive energy savings and renewable energy generation measures. Expected savings are reviewed by a third party prior to program launch. Participant-level verification is conducted internally to confirm that supported systems are installed as approved. MCCAC programs are not evaluated by an independent third-party.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

BC Hydro's savings are assessed by its own EM&V department, with assistance from third-party organizations, and are monitored by an internal assessment committee composed of three external evaluation advisers. The BC Utilities Commission receives and reviews evaluation milestone reports.

FortisBC's electricity and natural gas DSM programs are evaluated on rotation, primarily by 3rd party consultants according to industry best practices. The annual savings for the entire portfolio reported in FBC's DSM Annual Reports are not specifically evaluated. The Annual Reports, including summary Evaluation reports, are submitted to the BC Utilities Commission.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

Efficiency Manitoba has contracted with a third-party evaluator to evaluate all programs and initiatives in the 2020-23 Efficiency Plan which is required by the Efficiency Manitoba Act 16 (1). Each year of the three-year plan will be evaluated using industry best practices methodologies (such as the UMP). The electric energy and capacity savings, and natural gas savings along with the cost-effectiveness of the savings will be evaluated and compared to planned values.

Efficiency Manitoba followed industry best practices for their Evaluation Framework, including an evaluation budget that represents 1.7% of the total DSM budget.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

Individual initiatives at NB Power are generally assessed by a third party on a three-year period. Interviews with employees and stakeholders (contracted parties, distributors, and participants), site inspections, EM&V analysis, design and implementation analysis, and savings analysis are all part of the process.

Every three years, an EM&V Plan is created. This paper describes NB Power's EM&V techniques and activities, as well as the assumptions that underpin them. It comprises two documents: 1) an EM&V framework document, which provides a consistent framework for program evaluation with industry standards and best practices, and 2) a three-year assessment plan of NB Power's present programs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland’s takeCHARGE programs are reviewed informally and internally on an annual basis, and each program is evaluated formally and externally every two to three years. An impartial program evaluator conducts effect, market and process evaluations, as well as free-ridership and spillover analyses on a regular basis.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

No EM&V activities identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

Savings for DSM programs are evaluated by a independent third-party evaluation consultant, and verified by a Utility and Review Board (UARB) appointed Verification Consultant. Annual evaluation and verification reports are filed with the UARB and publicly available on the UARB website. EfficiencyOne's current evaluation plan includes impact evaluations for each program annually and process evaluations as identified. Evaluation plans are developed on an annual basis.

Provincial programs programs are evaluated by a third-party evaluation consultant, with results being reported in the evalation reports provided to the Province.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

No EM&V activities identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Ontario Energy Board (OEB) coordinates an annual impact evaluation of DSM programs in Ontario. Generally, a third-party Evaluation Contractor (EC) is selected to undertake this work with input and guidance from an Evaluation Advisory Committee comprised of stakeholders and industry experts. The third-party EC determines the appropriate methodology based on program specifics.

A 2021-2022 DSM EM&V Plan was issued by the OEB on February 4, 2021. The EM&V Plan is one input that the OEB considers in making decision on future EM&V activities, in addition to the Evaluation Contractor’s recommendations, input from the Evaluation Advisory Committee, as well as the value, timeliness and resources required to complete potential evaluation activities.

The IESO conducts impact, process and cost effectiveness evaluations which involve data gathering and analysis, gross and net verification, determination of adjustment factors (e.g. realization rates, net-to-gross ratios, etc.) and reporting of key results, findings and recommendations.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

efficiencyPEI hired a third party evaluator for the life of the DSM plan. They complete evaluation activities as required by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission Oder UE19-03, which outlines the minimum scope of EM&V that must occur. This includes primarily Process and Impact Evaluations, as well as savings verifications in the latter part of the plan. efficiencyPEI also created an Evaluation Framework, which outlines evaluation priorities and procedures.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

Utility programs

Each program or program category is evaluated externally every three to four years.

Electricity and natural gas efficiency reports are submitted to the Régie de l’énergie. Evaluation reports are available here.

Transition énergetique Quebec

TEQ programs are evaluated by an external firm according to an established schedule: review of EcoPerformance and Forest Biomass programs began in 2019-2020; review of the Roulez vert begin in 2020-2021. Reports can be found here.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Saskatchewan

SaskEnergy current five-year EM&V plan was developed by a third-party. Process evaluations are conducted approximately one year after a new program is launched, after a major program change, upon identification of observable issues, or after three to five years if there are no major changes. Process evaluations may be completed internally or by a third-party. Market evaluations are conducted to inform program decisions during program development, when new technology is on the market, in cases of low participation rate and every three to five years if there have been no major changes. Market evaluations maybe done internally or by third-party. For impact evaluations, a regular review of measures and assumptions is done internally at least annually to ensure codes and standards changes, program design, evaluation results, identification of errors and/or new information are properly considered. Impact evaluations are completed following major regulation changes and for all new measures. In-depth third party Impact Evaluation/Savings Verification is conducted every three to five years.

SaskPower Evaluation Plans are created for all new programs at inception. Program data is captured, monitored and tracked during program delivery dependent on the Evaluation Plan. All programs are evaluated at completion by comparing program results with the objectives set out in program design document.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Yukon

No EM&V activities identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Support for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Specific policy goals and supports are required to overcome challenges in reaching low-income populations with energy efficiency programming.

Alberta

There are no known legislative or regulatory requirements that encourage delivery of energy efficiency programs to low-income or hard-to-reach populations.

Energy Efficiency Alberta administered the Affordable Housing Energy Solutions program in conjunction with the Ministry of Seniors and Housing, which targeted housing stock owned or supported by the Alberta Social Housing Corporation. This program was closed in October 2019.

Last reviewed: November 2022

British Columbia

The “Demand Side Measures Regulation” (BC Reg 117/2017) to the Utilities Commission Act requires a public utility’s portfolio to include programs for low-income households and rental accommodations in order to be considered adequate (Section 3). The regulation requires regulators to consider participant and non-energy benefits and increase the benefits of particular programs (including low-income) by 40%. (Section 4(2)).

Electricity
BC Hydro and Fortis BC collaborate to administer the Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP), the Energy Saving Kit (ESK) Program, and the Social Housing Retrofit Support Program (SHRSP).

Natural Gas
The ECAP and ESK also apply to natural gas customers. FortisBC Energy also offers ‘top-ups’ to both their commercial space heat and water heater program for buildings owned or operated by a charity providing assistance to low-income persons, or a non-profit housing provider (including housing co-operatives and Indigenous Bands). The province, through the CleanBC Better Homes Program, co-funds FortisBC’s Income-Qualified incentives for energy efficient gas equipment.

In December 2021, FortisBC added air source heat pump upgrades from existing less efficient electric space heating systems to its Income Qualified Space and Water Heating Program. This offer is not co-funded by CleanBC.

Other
The CleanBC Social Housing Incentives Program provides funding to support custom electrification projects in the social housing sector.

Launched in FY2021-22, the CleanBC Better Homes Income Qualified Program is a new, time-limited, efficiency and electrification offers incentives to low- and moderate-income households.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Manitoba

Efficiency Manitoba's regulation (Section 14) states that, as of April 1, 2020, Efficiency Manitoba must only use the Affordable Energy Fund to encourage and realize efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of home heating fuels other than electrical energy or natural gas, and not for any other purpose. As a result, the Affordable Energy Fund no longer supports low-income programs.

In July 2007, the Public Utilities Board Order 99/07 required Central Gas Manitoba Inc. to contribute to the fund to support high-efficiency furnaces for low-income households and fixed income seniors. This fund, called the Furnace Replacement Budget, has a set amount that will continue to support the installation of high-efficiency furnaces in low income homes until the fund is depleted.

The Efficiency Manitoba Regulation requires that, if possible, at least 5% of Efficiency Manitoba's budget for demand-side management efforts be given to programs aimed at low-income or difficult-to-reach consumers. This would include Indigenous consumers who qualify for low-income programming. According to Efficiency Manitoba's three-year strategy, 6% of the electric efficiency budget and 30% of the natural gas efficiency budget will be dedicated to low-income and hard-to-reach clients.

The Energy Efficiency Assistance Program of Efficiency Manitoba is an income-based program aimed at lower-income Manitobans. The program has a budget of $7.1 million for the year 2020 and $7.65 million for 2021. If a home qualifies, it may be eligible for free insulation, natural gas furnaces, high-efficiency boilers, or energy efficient clothes washer. The program also offers modest energy-saving gadgets like low-flow showerheads and LEDs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

New Brunswick

NB Power administers the Low Income Energy Efficiency program on behalf of the Department of Social Development.  The program is funded by a combination of the Provincial Department of Social Development, the Provincial Climate Fund, and the Low Carbon Economy Fund. It focuses on weatherization and some elements of heating system upgrades and direct install components.

NB Power also administers a Community Outreach Program, that works with non-profit and community organizations to help clients improve energy efficiency.

Recent amendments to the Electricity Act now allow NB Power to spend additional funds on low-income programs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Newfoundland and Labrador

There are no legislative or regulatory requirements regarding low-income programs.

In 2022 takeCHARGE launched a Low Income Program that provides energy efficiency kits to income qualified customers at no charge.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Northwest Territories

The NWT’s 2030 Energy Strategy, released in May 2018, planned to support a “Low-Income Home Energy Assistance” program.

The Arctic Energy Alliance offers energy savings kits and energy capacity-building workshops through the Specified Income Home Winterization Program. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation offers three programs which enable existing homeowners to make necessary health and safety related repairs including energy efficiency upgrades.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nova Scotia

The 2014 Electricity Efficiency and Conservation Plan committed to retrofit all low-income homes over 10 years. 

EfficiencyOne’s 2020-2022 DSM plan includes “low income performance indicators”, which estimates low-income participants and resulting budgets and savings figures for a variety of programs. Participation is estimated using geographic census information, amongst other methods.

Programs include the HomeWarming program administered by Clean Foundation and Efficiency Nova Scotia, and the Affordable Multi-Family Housing and Efficient Product Installation administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia.

In December, 2022, the province announced that it will spend $140 million of combined federal and provincial funding on energy efficiency programs over four years. These programs include free heat pumps and electrical panel upgrades to low-income households.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Nunavut

The Nunvaut Housing Corporation administers a Home Renovation Program.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Ontario

Electricity

In January 2021, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) launched the Energy Affordability Program (EAP) to help income-eligible households who may be struggling with their home electricity bills find savings through free energy- efficiency measures and upgrades.  EAP is delivered under the 2021-24 electricity CDM Framework and replaces two programs which ended in 2020: the Home Assistance Program (HAP) for low-income electricity customers and the Affordability Fund program for electricity customers who had a high electricity burden but did not qualify for the HAP. Service delivery of the EAP is coordinated with the natural gas (low-income) Home Winterproofing Program (HWP).

Natural Gas

Consistent with the guidance given by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and to facilitate coordination between low-income electricity CDM and natural gas DSM programming, similar income eligibility criteria was adopted by Enbridge Gas as was updated by the IESO for the new Energy Affordability Program.

Enbridge reported that their 2015-2020 DSM Framework requires natural gas utilities to "ensure low-income programs are accessible across the province and should be screened at lower thresholds than other programs, as determined by the Board".

In November, 2022, the OEB approved Enbridge's Natural Gas Demand Side Management Plan 2023-2025. This three-year plan includes two low-income programs: the Home Winterproofing and the Affordable Housing Multi-Residential programs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Prince Edward Island

There are no legislative or regulatory requirements for low-income energy efficiency programming.

In 2020 and 2021, efficiencyPEI dedicated a significant share of its budget to programs targeting low-income populations, through program such as the Home Insulation Rebates, Energy Efficiency Equipment Rebates, and the Winter Warming Program.

The Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action offers additional support to low-income households including a program for seniors.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Quebec

There are no policies to support low-income programming, such as minimum budgets, adjustments to cost-effectiveness tests, or specific funds.

Éconologis is a program administered by Transition énergétique Québec in partnership with Hydro-Québec that offers free individualized advice and minor work to improve energy efficiency.

Hydro-Québec offers “Rénovation énergétique, offree aux ménages à faibles revenue”. Hydro-Québec signs agreements with social and community organizations, such as social and co-op housing providers and municipalities.

Énergir offers supplementary financial assistance to low-income households, under the Soutine aux ménages à faible revenue program.

Last reviewed: October 2021

Saskatchewan

There are no legislative or regulatory requirements regarding programing for low-income and/or hard-to-reach populations.

SaskPower administered a Home Assistance Pilot Program with Saskatchewan Housing Corporation to deliver energy kits to low income households between 2015 and 2017/18. In 2019, SaskPower launched the Energy Assistance Program, targeting income qualified households in Regina and Saskatoon.

SaskEnergy operates the Tune-Up Assistance Program which delivers a home heating ‘tune-up’ to homeowners free of charge.  The program is open to households with a combined income of less than $68,000.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Yukon

No requirements or mandates for energy efficiency programs for low income populations identified.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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