Ontario's Five-Point Small Business Energy Savings
Ontario has developed a new five-point plan to help mitigate electricity rate increases for small businesses by offering enhanced conservation programs. In partnership with Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and key agencies, the plan will help small businesses conserve energy, manage costs and save money. Over the coming months, the plan will:
1) Promote the Use of Roving Energy Managers to Small Businesses
- The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), LDCs and the Retail Council of Canada are working together to promote energy conservation through the use of Roving Energy Managers.
- Roving Energy Managers will be available to small businesses on a short-term basis to provide support and assistance every step of the way on a conservation project -- from applying for incentives to installing energy efficiency measures.
- Roving Energy Managers will perform assessments at the small business premises and assist in building a business case to invest in a conservation project (e.g. expected energy savings and payback period of a project).
- The OPA, in partnership with LDCs, will work to enhance the model for small businesses that work with Roving Energy Managers.
2) Market the saveONenergy for Business Conservation Program
- Significant marketing efforts will be made in 2014 to promote the saveONenergy for Business program, which offers a variety of conservation incentives to small businesses, including incentives for energy audits, retrofits and lighting replacement.
- The strategy will promote the cost saving benefits of conservation.
- To ensure small business owners are engaged through multiple channels, the marketing strategy will also include working with key partners such as Chambers of Commerce, Business Improvement Associations and local economic development offices to increase awareness of programs.
3) Enhance the save ONenergy for Business Conservation Program
- To make participation in conservation programs easier and faster for small businesses, program applications and documentation are being simplified and automated.
- Rebates will be increased for the Small Business Lighting Program and LED lighting will now be eligible under the program.
- There will also be increased contractor engagement and training to promote incentives to small businesses.
4) Introduce On Bill Financing for Small Businesses
- To assist small businesses in financing the upfront costs of energy conservation projects for their businesses, on-bill financing will be made available beginning in 2015 to allow repayment for eligible upgrades and retrofits through their utility bill.
5) Provide Long-Term Stable Funding for Small Business Initiatives under the new Conservation First Framework
- To ensure conservation incentives continue to be available for small businesses, the Ontario government committed to another six years of conservation funding through the new Conservation First Framework (2015 - 2020). Targeted programs for small businesses are a requirement under the new framework.