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 is funded primarily through the Alberta carbon levy, but also receives funding from the federal government's Low Carbon Economy Leadership Funding.

Following the provincial election in early 2019, the new government repealed the carbon levy, removing a principal source of funding for EEA.  In October 2019, EEA announced that its rebate and incentive programs were closed and not accepting new applications.   EEA continues to offer support for financing, training, and energy management programs.

Last reviewed: November 2019

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 programs are overseen by the British Columbia utilities commission and supported by ratepayer funds.

CleanBC Better Homes is an online hub to access information on programs administered by BC Hydro, FortisBC, and BC Housing. CleanBC resources include a rebate search tool, a single application process, free energy coaching services, a search tool to find EnerGuide rating system advisors and contractor directories. Program administered by the government under CleanBC include programs to promote switching from oil to heat pump and wood stove efficiency programs.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Manitoba

In 2017, the provincial govenrment 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 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both the electricity and natural gas sectors.

Efficiency Manitoba filed its 3-year Efficiency Plan in October 2019, proposing to launch programs under the new administrator in 2020. The Plan will be reviewed by the Public Utilities Board, with final approval by the Minister of Conservation of Climate.

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

Last reviewed: November 2019

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Power administers electric and non-electric efficiency programs. Electric programs are primarily funded through ratepayers. Non-electric programs are currently supported through the Low-Carbon Economy Fund, and all-fuel low-income programs are funded by the government Social Development department.

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.

Last reviewed: November 2019

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 Home Energy Savings administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation. The provincial government is launching more government administered efficiency programs with funds from the Government of Canada’s Low-Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Northwest Territories

The Arctic Energy Alliance administers energy efficiency programs, funded through the territorial government and federal contributions through the low-carbon economy leadership fund.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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 a fee-for-service agreement with the Province.

Last reviewed: November 2019

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. 

Last reviewed: November 2019

Ontario

Electricity
Electricity “Conservation and Demand Management (CDM)” programs have moved towards centralized administration by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), as ordered by a March 20th, 2019 Ministerial Directive. The directive creates an “interim framework” until December 31, 2020, and discontinues the 2015-2020 Conservation First Framework.

Under the Conservation First Framework, Local Distribution Companies (LDC) had responsibility for program administration under their licenses, and were responsible for developing individuals plans to meet their share of provincial energy saving targets. The IESO coordinated CDM activities and designed and delivered programs under the “Save on Energy” brand, and also administered programs for transmission-connected customers under the Industrial Accelerator Program.

Under the 2016 Energy Statute Law Amendment Act the government replaced IESO power system planning processes with a Long-Term Energy Plan developed by the Ministry of Energy. This plan is not subject to approval by the Ontario Energy Board.

Natural Gas
Natural gas “Demand Side Management” (DSM) programs are administered by distribution utilities, principally Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas. On January 1, 2019 these two companies joined to become Enbridge Gas Inc. DSM programs are overseen by the Ontario Energy Board. Natural gas programs are currently delivered under the 2015-2020 Demand Side Management Framework. The Ontario Energy Board has initiated consultations for the development of the post-2020 framework.

Other
The Green Ontario Fund (a government economic development corporation) administered energy conservation programs to be largely funded through cap and trade revenues. The first program was launched in August 2017. In July 2018 a new government announced all programs would be closed, and programs were wound down later that year.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Prince Edward Island

In PEI, a crown corporation acts as an “energy efficiency utility” with an all fuels mandate. Funding is provided by both ratepayer contributions and government funds. Programs are implemented and branded under EfficiencyPEI.

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.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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.

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 remamed “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). This was originally envisioned in the 2030 energy plan. TEQ is funded through the “quote part”, cap and trade revenues dispersed from the Green Fund, and an Energy Transition Fund supported by petroleum royalties. TEQ has 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 proposes to change 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.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Saskatchewan

Electricity efficiency programs are administered by SaskPower, while natural gas programs are administed by SaskEnergy.  Both are provincially-owned utilities.  

Last reviewed: October 2019

Yukon

Yukon Energy and the Yukon Electrical Company partner to deliver efficiency programs through the inCharge brand. These utility based programs are overseen by the Yukon Utilities Board. The Yukon Electrical Company serves primarily the Whitehorse area and two thirds of rural communities. The Yukon Energy Corporation is the primary generator of electrical energy and distributes power to rural communities not served by the Yukon Electrical Company.

The Yukon Government Energy Solutions Centre and the Yukon Housing Corporation also offer energy efficiency programs.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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.  Energy Efficiency Alberta’s core mandate relates to greenhouse gas emission reductions. The organization’s 2018/19 Business Plan states that performance targets will be included in the 2019/2020 business plan, informed by an efficiency potential study. The Business Plan lists preliminary performance measures related to GHG emissions, energy savings (lifetime energy savings, as well as water savings and renewable energy capacity installed), improved quality of life, and market transformation.

Last reviewed: August 2019

British Columbia

The Clean Energy Act established an objective to “to take demand-side measures and to conserve energy, including the objective of the authority reducing its expected increase in demand for electricity by the year 2020 by at least 66%” (Part 1, Section 2(b)). This target is mandated only for BC Hydro (‘the authority’), though FortisBC voluntarily adopted the target thereafter, and subsequently escalated its long-term DSM target to 80% of load growth offsetting. 

 While there are no legislated targets for natural gas efficiency savings, Section 44.1(2)(f) of the Utilities Commission Act requires utilities, other than BC Hydro, to submit resource plans which provide an explanation of why demand for energy is not planned to be replaced with demand-side measures. This has contributed to a significant increase in natural gas savings targets.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Manitoba

The Efficiency Manitoba Act of 2017 legislates long term energy efficiency savings targets over 15 years (2017-2032). The targets are:

  • Minimum net annual electricity savings at least equal to 1.5% of electricity consumption in the immediately preceding year
  • Minimum net annual natural gas savings equal to 0.75% of natural gas consumption in the immediately preceding year
  • Any shortfalls and surpluses in 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.

These targets apply to Efficiency Manitoba, not Manitoba Hydro.

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

NB Power planned budgets and energy savings are reported to the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.

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. 

Last reviewed: November 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

TakeCHARGE program energy savings targets are approved by and reported to the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities. There are no targets in policy or regulation.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Nova Scotia

Electricity savings targets are approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, under the current 2020-2022 demand side management plan. Non-electricity targets are published in the Efficiency Nova Scotia business plan.

There are no targets in policy or regulation.

Last reviewed: November 2019

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.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No targets identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

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

Previously, under Ontario’s 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.

Natural Gas
Under the 2015-2020 Demand Side Management plan, the Ontario Energy Board adjusts annual targets based on the previous years’ cost-effectiveness (see Board's Decision EB-2015-0029/49).

Last reviewed: August 2019

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. Savings would start at 0.4% of load in 2017 and ramp up.

The strategy also calls for ramping up to annual energy savings of 2% per year for non-electric fuels by 2020.

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.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Quebec

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to create a 2018-2023 master plan that improves energy efficiency at least 1% per year, on average. The Province’s 2030 Energy Plan calls for a 2030 objective exists to improve energy efficiency 15% from a 2013 base year.

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to reduce by at least 5% the total consumption of petroleum products from a 2013 base year.

The TEQ 2018-2023 Master Plan estimates 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. TEQ 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 aims to reduce petroleum use by 12% in 2023 compared to 2013 levels. This is 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 and the targets also contribute to the 2013-2020 action plan on climate change.

Electricity utility savings
Hydro-Quebec Distribution plans (1, 2) to save 469 GWh per year from programs over 2019-2023, which translates into annual incremental savings of abut 0.3% per year.

Natural gas utility savings
Énergir 2019-2023 plan targets savings equivalent to about 0.7% of sales, rising to 0.8% in 2022 and 2023.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Saskatchewan

SaskPower has a net incremental target of 14MW peak demand reduction and 87 GWh by 2030 through energy efficiency and conservation programs, as set out in the April 2019 Climate Resilience Saskatchewan report.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Yukon

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

Last reviewed: August 2019

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

Energy savings are not integrated within utility system planning in Alberta. There is limited ratepayer funding for energy efficiency. An exception is the Medicine Hat Electric and Natural Gas Utility.

Last reviewed: August 2019

British Columbia

The BC Utilities Commission Act requires public utilities (except BC Hydro) to file with the Utilities Commission a long-term resource plan that includes a plan to reduce demand by taking cost-effective measures (Sect 44.1(2)(b)).  Sect. 44.1(2)(f) of the Act requires utilities planning infrastructure to serve load to explain why demand is not planned to be met through DSM.  The Act also gives the appropriate Minister the ability to make regulations regarding whether a demand-side measure is cost-effective and adequate (Sect 125.1 (4)(3).

Last reviewed: August 2019

Manitoba

The Efficiency Manitoba Act gives Efficiency Manitoba the mandate to implement and support demand side management initiatives, which includes 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)). The Act requires Efficiency Manitoba to submit an energy efficiency plan every 3 years to the Public Utilities Board.

The Efficiency Manitoba Act's targets of 1.5% of electric load and 0.75% of natural gas volume will take effect once Efficiency Manitoba creates its first 3-year DSM plan. That plan will cover the period of 2020/21 to 2022/23. Manitoba Hydro does not have a mandated target.

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

In 2014, the responsibility for efficiency programs was transferred from Efficiency New Brunswick to New Brunswick Power.

A July 23, 2018 mandate letter between the Minister of Energy and Resource Development and NB Power includes the following responsibility, “strengthening existing, and developing new cost-effective energy efficiency programs that result in direct savings to customers and NB Power, and support business development through contractor and consultant networks”.

The letter also mandates NB Power to protect and improve the environment through the Energy Smart NB plan and the reinstatement and expansion of “home energy efficiency retrofit programs to reduce energy use and lower costs for consumers of all-fuels”.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Board of Commissioners has issued orders for utilities to consider conservation and energy efficiency. Board Order PU 1 (1990) issued January 30, 1990 was the first time demand side initiatives were integrated as an alternative to energy supply.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Northwest Territories

No policies identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No activities identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

Electricity
The Ministry of Energy creates Long-Term Energy Plans under the Energy Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016. The latest plan was released in October 2017. 

Ontario can also engage in Regional Energy Planning, which brings transmitters, distributors, and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) together to identify solutions to regional electricity needs. Regional plans have been completed for 21 electricity regions in Ontario. An IESO led scoping process can lead to an Integrated Regional Resource Plan (IRRP).

In 2013, Ontario released a Conservation First Vision, calling for investing in conservation before new generation, where cost-effective. This informed the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan which stated that the Ministry of Energy will work with the Ontario Energy Board and its agencies to “put conservation first in their planning, approval and procurement processes” and to put conservation first in distributor planning processes for both electricity and natural gas. This is no longer government policy after a Ministerial Directive was issued on March 21, 2019 that discontinued the 2015-2020 Conservation First Framework for electricity.

Natural Gas
A Ministerial Directive in March 2014 (Order in Council 467/2014) instructed the Ontario Energy Board to develop a natural gas Demand Side Management framework to “enable the achievement of all cost-effective DSM … as far as is appropriate and reasonable” (Sect 4(ii)). This directive is still in effect, as the March 21, 2019 Ministerial Directive, indicated that this aspect of the March 2014 Directive “shall remain in full force and effect” (paragraph 5).

The Ontario Energy Board set as a Guiding Principle for the Natural Gas utilities DSM Framework (2015-2020) that utilities plans should:  "Achieve all cost-effective DSM that result in a reasonable rate impact."

Natural gas demand side management considers avoided commodity costs, pipeline costs, storage and facility costs, as well as avoided non-energy costs.  The Ontario Energy Board states in its 2015-2020 Framework for natural gas demand side management that gas utilities must provide evidence of how DSM has been considered as an alternative to the construction of future infrastructure projects. The natural gas distributors have filed a transition plan with the Ontario Energy Board to consider more closely integrating DSM with infrastructure planning. This includes pilot studies to be completed in 2019 to consider the impact of DSM on peak demand to avoid new infrastructure.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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 to pursue energy efficiency.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Quebec

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to create a 2018-2023 master plan that prioritizes energy efficiency as a the first resource. This is a guiding principle, rather than a clear direction to maximize all available energy efficiency as an alternative to supply.

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.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Saskatchewan

There is no provincial mandate to pursue energy efficiency in Saskatchewan.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Yukon

No activities identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

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 mandates 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 must 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.

Last reviewed: November 2019

British Columbia

BC Hydro is required to submit an Integrated Resource Plan to the Minister, every five years, under the Clean Energy Act (Sect 3).  BC Hydro’s most recent IRP was released in November 2013. A review of this plan was conducted in 2016.  BC Hydro’s next Integrated Resource Plan is planned for 2021, which will incorporate new policy objectives from the province’s most recent climate plan – Clean BC – released in December 2018. FortisBC released a long-term electricity resource plan in 2016 and a long-term natural gas resource plan in 2017.

FortisBC’s latest natural gas Conservation Potential Review (CPR) is appended to its 2017 long-term gas resource plan, and its electric CPR was issued in two parts: the Technical/Economic potential was filed with the 2016 LTERP; and the Market potential was filed with its 2019-2022 DSM plan.    The last BC Hydro CPR on public record is from 2007, though a more recent CPR is expected to be made public in 2019.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Manitoba

The last efficiency potential study was submitted to the Manitoba Public Utility board in August 2013.

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Power Integrated Resource Plans are updated every three years. The last plan was released in 2017.

An efficiency potential study was completed in 2010, and a refresh in 2012.  The latest potential study was completed in May 2019.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

Utilities complete 5-year conservation plans; the most recent runs from 2016-2020. A potential study was completed in 2015. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Power has developed Integrated Resource Plans since 2007, on an indeterminate timeline. The last IRP was filed in 2014.  A new potential study was completed and filed as part of a new IRP process in August 2019.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Northwest Territories

No potential studies or energy efficiency plans identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No potential studies or energy efficiency plans identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

Potential Study
An achievable potential study for natural gas efficiency is to be conducted every three-years, by order from a March 20, 2019 Ministerial Directive.

A March 20th, 2019 Ministerial Directive requires that the IESO to complete an achievable potential study for electricity programs, coordinated with a natural gas achievable potential study, by September 30, 2019. The potential study is available here

Before this, a natural gas potential study was completed in 2016, and an electricity potential study was completed in 2016.

Energy Planning
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. The IESO publishes an annual planning outlook.

Enbridge IRP transition plan was submitted to the Ontario Energy Board during the mid-term review.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Prince Edward Island

An efficiency potential study was completed in 2008.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Quebec

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

The last electricity potential study was submitted to regulator in 2011.

The last natural gas potential study was completed in 2017.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Saskatchewan

At the end of 2017, SaskPower conducted a Conservation Potential Review that identified the electricity savings and demand reductions available in Saskatchewan.

Last review: August 2019

Yukon

A Yukon Electricity Conservation and Demand Management Potential Review was conducted on January 9, 2012.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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

Energy Efficiency Alberta uses a variety of cost-effectiveness tests, including Societal Abatement Cost, Program Abatement Cost and Total Resource Cost. The tests are used at all levels (portfolio, program and measure). While the tests are not used from a pass/fail perspective, they do inform program and portfolio planning.

Last reviewed: November 2019

British Columbia

Primary Test: Modified Total Resource Cost (mTRC) test with non-energy benefits and/or 15% benefit adder
Secondary Test: Utility Cost Test

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, which is the primary test used by both BC Hydro and FortisBC.  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)).

Last reviewed: November 2019

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.

Manitoba Hydro's primary cost-effectiveness test was the TRC. Some initiatives are pursued with a  TRC <1 as exceptions - for example programs supporting targeted sectors such as lower income,  natural gas programs where support is required in order to move the market overall for both electric and natural gas opportunities (e.g. new home construction), and where Manitoba Hydro may be piloting initiatives in emerging sectors to better understand the market.  Manitoba Hydro's secondary tests are the levelized utility cost, the societal cost test, the levelized resource cost, the program administrator cost and the rate impact measure. Manitoba Hydro applies its tests at the program and portfolio level.

Last reviewed: November 2019

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Power’s 2016-2018 DSM plan used the Program Administrator Cost test for its primary screening test, applied at the program level. The participant cost test was used as a secondary test.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Five-Year Conservation Plan 2016-2020 screens programs based on the Total Resource Cost Test (primary) and the Program Administrator Cost Test (secondary).

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nova Scotia

Primary test: Total Resource Cost Test
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.  The TRC does not currently include non-energy benefits.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Northwest Territories

No cost-effectiveness testing information identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No cost effectiveness testing information identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

The Total Resource Cost Test is the principal test for electricity conservation and demand management, applies at the program level. The Program Administrator Cost test is also reported, as well as the Levelized Unit Energy Cost. A 15 per cent benefit adder to the TRC accounts for non-energy benefits. These remain the cost-effectiveness guidelines under the 2019-2020 Interim Framework.

Under the 2015-2020 framework for natural gas utilities programs are screened using the Total Resource Cost-Plus Test, at the program level, which applies a 15% non-energy benefit adder. In the Ontario Energy Board's Mid-Term Review Report, the Board directed the gas utility to add the cost of carbon (i.e. federal price) to the TRC+ cost effectiveness test. The Program Administrator Cost Test is used as a secondary reference.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Prince Edward Island

Primary Cost-Effectiveness Test: Program Administrator Cost Test

PEI used the Program Administrator Cost Test, at the portfolio level, in its proposed 2018-2021 DSM Resource Plan.

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

The Total Resource Cost (TRC) test is used at the measure level as a secondary test.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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: August 2019

Saskatchewan

Primary test: Utility cost test
Secondary test: Total resource cost test

SaskPower conducts testing at the program level to guide decision-making, and tests are reported internally at the portfolio level.

Last review: August 2019

Yukon

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

Last reviewed: August 2019 

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

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

Alberta

The following programs were evaluated for the 2017-18 FY: (1) Business, Non-Profit and Institutional (BNI); (2) Home Improvement Rebates (HIR); (3) Instant Savings; (4) Online Rebates, and; (5) Residential and Commercial Solar (RCSP). The primary objective of the evaluation was to verify claimed program energy savings, although the evaluator also reviewed project samples and internal controls, assessed program data tracking and management, and validated savings methodologies. The evaluation reports provided program-specific recommendations, which were implemented wherever possible during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The following programs were evaluated for the 2018-19 FY: (1) Business, Non-Profit and Institutional (BNI); (2) Home Improvement Rebates (HIR); (3) Instant Savings; (4) Online Rebates; (5) Residential and Commercial Solar (RCSP); (6) Home Energy Plan (HEP); (7) Residential No-Charge Energy Savings (RNCES); (8) Affordable Housing Energy Solutions; (9) Non-profit Energy Efficiency Transition (NEET); (10) Custom Energy Solutions (CES), and; (11) Methane Energy Reduction (MER). The primary objective of the evaluation was to verify claimed program energy savings, although the evaluator also reviewed project samples and internal controls, assessed program data tracking and management, and validated prescriptive savings methodologies. This evaluation was expected to be completed by August 2019.

Last reviewed: November 2019

British Columbia

BC Hydro's savings are evaluated through its internal EM&V department with support by third party entities, overseen by internal evaluation committee including two external evaluation advisors. Evaluation Milestone Reports are filed with the BC Utilities Commission.

FortisBC Inc's (FBC) individual DSM programs are evaluated on rotation, primarily by 3rd party consultants according to industry best practicies. 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: August 2019

Manitoba

Some electric and natural gas programs were evaluated by a third-party in 2016/17 and 2017/18.  The others were evaluated internally.

Programs evaluated externally are listed below. 

Electricity
2016/17

  • Commercial Refrigeration Program
  • Affordable Energy Program

2017/18

  • Power Smart Shops (currently named the Small Business Program)
  • Commercial HVAC Program

Natural Gas
2016/17

  • Natural Gas Optimization Program
  • Affordable Energy Program

2017/18

  • Power Smart Shops (current name is Small Business Program)
  • Commercial HVAC Program

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

NB Power's individual programs are typically evaluated by a 3rd party on a 3 year cycle. They consist of interviews with staff and stakeholders (contracted parties, distributers, and participants), site visits, EM&V analysis, design and implementation analysis, and savings analysis.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

Both NL Hydro and Newfoundland and Labrador Power internally evaluate different programs at different times on a cycle. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Northwest Territories

No information available.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nova Scotia

Savings for Efficiency Nova Scotia programs are evaluated by a third-party.  Evaluation reports are publicaly available on the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board website.   

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No information on evaluation, measurement and verification available. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

Electricity
The IESO conducts impact, process and cost effectiveness evaluation. Impact evaluation aims to verify reported energy and demand savings and to measure free-ridership and spillover attributed to the program.  It consists of conducting site visits, desk reviews and document reviews as well as attribution surveys.  Process evaluation is an empirical examination of program design, development, delivery, and administration. It consists of doing surveys and interviews with program participants, non-participants, contractors, vendors and other key market actors.  Cost effectiveness evaluation determines whether program benefits outweighs the program costs.  It consists of estimating the total resource cost (TRC), program administrative cost (PAC) and levelized unit energy cost (LUEC) of a program. Program evaluation is done in accordance with the IESO EM&V Protocols and requirements. This protocol together with the Evaluation Reports published from 2007 to 2017 are found on the IESO website.

Natural Gas
Ontario Energy Board (OEB) staff coordinate the impact evaluation of DSM programs in Ontario. An Evaluation Contractor (EC) is selected to undertake this work with input and guidance from an Evaluation Advisory Committee comprised of stakeholders and industry experts. A combination of desk reviews and onsite verifications are conducted to verify the savings claimed by the utilities and the corresponding amounts in DSM accounts.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Prince Edward Island

No activities identified.

Evaluating and verifying program results can be a challenge for PEI due to the relatively small scale of program activity and low number of participants. However, the 2018-2021 plan calls for independent evaluation, reported to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, with a strategy for leveraging information from neighbouring provinces.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Quebec

Utility programs
Each program or program category within the “Plan Global en Efficacité Énergétique” (PGEÉ) are evaluated by an independent firm every 3-4 years, for natural gas programs

Elecricity and natural gas efficiency reports are submitted to the Régie de l’énergie, and after an examination the Régie produces a report. Evaluation reports are available under "Suivis des résultats d'évaluation du PGEÉ” (1, 2). 

Transition energetique Quebec
TEQ programs are evaluated internally or by an external firm. A review of evaluation reports available on the TEQ website, with recent evaluation of electric vehicle and electricity conservation programs and a major evaluation of programs last occurring in 2013. We understand that an external firm will be conducting a comprehensive evaluation of all TEQ programs in future years.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Saskatchewan

No activities identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Yukon

No activities identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Program Innovation

Dedicated funding to support experimentation in program delivery and for piloting technological improvements helps overcome barriers to innovation and prepares for new energy saving opportunities. 

Alberta

Energy Efficiency Alberta does not have a specific fund to support program innovation.

Last reviewed: August 2019

British Columbia

The “Demand Side Measures Regulation” (BC Reg 117/2017) to the Utilities Commission Act requires a portfolio level evaluation of technology innovation programs, as well as education, energy efficiency training, community engagement, and public awareness programs (section 4(4) and 4(5). A minimum of 1% of the budget is reserved for “specified demand-side measures”, which relates specifically to codes and standards expenditures only.

BC Hydro plans include “non-integrated area activity”, which includes pilot initiatives to support activities such as education and skills training; support of energy efficient housing policy, community energy plans, piloting of targeted low-income offer for First Nations communities. These savings and expenditures are separately tracked, and pilot projects do not report on savings or cost-effectiveness.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Manitoba

The Efficiency Manitoba Act requires three-year efficiency plans to include a description of educational initiatives and support for “encouraging innovations in areas related to its mandate” (Section 9(b)).

Manitoba Hydro includes an Innovation Fund in its overall DSM budget to support innovation and pilot projects.

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

NB Power has an enablement fund line item in its budget that is used for the purpose of undertaking pilot projects and/or experimentation with new program approaches.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

No dedicated funds for program innovation were identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nova Scotia

Efficiency Nova Scotia Demand Side Management plans include investments in “enabling strategies” to improve program and services innovation and market transformation.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Northwest Territories

No program innovation funding identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

No program innovation funding identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

The Ontario Energy Board launched the OEB Innovation Sandbox, where utilities and other companies in the energy sector can get regulatory advice or seek relief for new ideas, products, services and business models that demonstrate the potential to provide benefit for consumers.

Electricity
The LDC Innovation Fund existed under the Conservation First Framework, and was terminated on March 21, 2019. The fund supported Local Distribution Companies (electric) to conduct pilot programs involving new program designs and market tests.

The IESO's Grid Innovation Fund (formerly Conservation Fund) has supported over 200 innovative projects related to conservation, demand management, and energy storage since it's establishment in 2005. A full list of projects is available here: http://www.ieso.ca/Get-Involved/Funding-Programs/Grid-Innovation-Fund/Projects-Funded

Natural gas
The Ontario Energy Board approved a $6M Collaboration and Innovation Fund for legacy Enbridge Gas Distribution to spend on collaborative pilots, and innovative approaches to the market, as part of the 2015-2020 DSM plan ($1 million annual). 

Legacy Union Gas allocates an annual $500K towards a Pilot and Test Fund. The fund allows the utility to seek new initiatives in a controlled manner to guage how the market reacts. A successfull pilot could graduate to a mass-roll out. The Test portion of the fund consists of marginal changes to an existing program to actively pursue continuous improvements.

 Last reviewed: August 2019

Prince Edward Island

EfficiencyPEI’s proposed 2018-2021 DSM Resource Plan includes funding for “enabling strategies”. In the initial years these funds will principally be used for public education, reporting, research, and tracking database development.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Quebec

Hydro-Quebec’s DSM plan includes specific initiatives for R&D and pilot projects, particularly through its Laboratoire des technologies de l’energie (LTE), which is part of Hydro-Quebec’s L’Institut de recerche d’Hydro-Quebec (IREQ), as well as its Démonstration technologique et commerciale (DTEC) program. Budgets for these activities are ~$8M annually for 2016-2018.

Énergir also has a program which supports innovation in natural gas efficiency through the development and demonstration of new technologies, new systems and processes.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Saskatchewan

SaskPower has no discrete fund, but there are opportunities to utilize its DSM/EE program funds for pilot projects.

SaskEnergy has funded demonstration projects for CHP, heat pumps, and other demonstration projects, though it is not clear whether these initiatives are supported by a dedicated innovation program.

Last review: August 2019

Yukon

No program innovation funding identified. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

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.

Support for Low-income Energy Efficiency Programs

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. This program was closed in October 2019.

Other low-income initiatives include a Home Upgrade pilot program, in conjunction with Empower Me.  Various EEA grants also target new Canadians, urban Indigenous, seniors and affordable housing tenants.

The Government of Alberta also administered the Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program.

The All One Sky Foundation operates the Energy Angels Program for low-income seniors in Calgary.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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 non-profit Custom Program. 

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).

Last reviewed: August 2019

Manitoba

Manitoba has an Affordable Energy Fund. Under the Energy Savings Act, Manitoba Hydro would contribute a proportion of its gross revenue from electricity exports to this fund, and the fund would ensure people with low-income, seniors, and people living in rural and northern Manitoba have access to programs. This fund is continued under the Efficiency Manitoba Act.

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. 

Manitoba Hydro also operates the Indigenous Energy Efficiency Program. Through this program, an energy efficiency specialist from Manitoba Hydro works collaboratively with the Band Housing Manager from each Indigenous community to identify qualifying homes in the community for energy efficiency upgrades.

Last reviewed: August 2019

New Brunswick

NB Power administers the Low Income Energy Efficiency program on behalf of the Department of Social Development.  The program is fully funded by the provincial government in the order of $2m annually.  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. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Newfoundland and Labrador

There are no legislative or regulatory requirements regarding low-income programs, and neither utility administers any.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation administers a Home Energy Savings Program, targeting homeowners with incomes below $32,500/per year.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nova Scotia

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; the Affordable Multi-Family Housing, the Efficient Product Installation, and First Nations programs administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia. 

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

Last reviewed: November 2019

Northwest Territories

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

Last reviewed: August 2019

Nunavut

The Nunvaut Housing Corporation administers a Home Renovation Program.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Ontario

In 2017, as part of the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan, the government launched the Affordability Fund with $100 million in funding from the tax base. The program is overseen by an independent Trust and is designed to provide energy efficiency measures to households who are struggling to pay their electricity bills and who do not qualify for low income conservation programs.

Electricity
The Conservation First Framework 2015-2020 required that the province’s electricity Local Distribution Companies deliver of portfolio of energy savings programs to various customer subsegments, including low-income customers. An August 2017 directive from the Minister of Energy required the IESO to design an deliver low-income programs across the province. The March 2019, Ministerial directives that winds down the Conservation First Framework leaves this unchanged.

Programs targeted towards low-income and indigenous populations are not required to pass cost-effectiveness tests.

The IESO centrally operates a Home Assistance Program

Natural Gas
Under the 2015-2015 DSM framework Low-income programs by natural gas utilities are screened using a 0.70 benefit-cost threshold, using the TRC test, with a 15% benefit adder. The Board further states that low-income programs not passing this threshold can be proposed and approved on merit. The 2015-2020 DSM framework includes specific low-income targets under the program scorecard, which include energy savings and project applications for new low-income housing.

Natural gas low-income programs include Union Gas' Affordable Housing Conservation Program, Home Weatherization Program, and various programs to Indigenous communities.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Prince Edward Island

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

Efficiency PEI dedicated a significant share of its budget to programs targeting low-income populations, through program such as the Home Energy Low-Income Program (HELP), Home Insulation Rebates, Energy Efficiency Equipment Rebates, and the Home Comfort Program. 

Last reviewed: August 2019

Quebec

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

Econologis is a program administered by TEQ in partnership with Hydro-Québec.

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 program title “Soutine aux ménages à faible revenue”.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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. 

SaskEnergy operates the Tune-Up Assistance Program which delivers a home heating ‘tune-up’ to homeowners free of charge.  Though the program is open to all homeowners, SaskEnergy gives preferences to households with a combined in come of les than $68,000.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Yukon

No requirements or mandates for energy efficiency programs for low income or hard-to-reach populations identified.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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