As we stride into 2023, the Save on Energy Retrofit program has announced several key changes that promise to reshape the energy efficiency landscape in Ontario. Based on feedback from program participants and delivery partners, the program revisions are designed to provide increased incentives and flexibility to both lighting and non-lighting projects. Here are the key highlights:
A Custom Stream for Diverse Needs
One of the most exciting changes is the introduction of a new custom stream for the Retrofit program. In the past, participants were limited by a prescribed list of measures. Now, they can submit applications for custom measures that better reflect actual operating conditions and are more reflective of their specific needs1.
This custom stream comes with an increased incentive rate of $1,200/kW or $0.13/kWh, whichever is greater. Importantly, this rate applies to both lighting and non-lighting projects, acknowledging the diverse energy efficiency needs of different sectors1.
From Square Feet to Kilowatt-Hours
In another significant shift, the basis for the incentive calculation for networked lighting controls (NLCs) has changed. Previously, the incentives were calculated based on the square feet of controlled space. Now, the focus is on the actual energy savings, with incentives calculated based on the estimated kilowatt-hours saved. This new rate is $0.35/kWh, a substantial increase for most projects, aligning the incentive more closely with NLC rates in other jurisdictions and capturing the savings more accurately1.
No More Incentive Cap
In a move that will no doubt be welcomed by larger projects, the previously implemented incentive cap limit of $1 million per application has been removed. Incentives will, however, continue to be capped at 50% of project costs. This change aims to encourage larger projects that can deliver significant energy savings to participate in the program1.
Shining a Light on Greenhouses
Understanding that lighting is a major electricity consumer in the greenhouse sector, a new program stream called “Retrofit for Greenhouses” has been introduced. This stream allows participants to find common measures used in their sector. It also introduces a new incentive for advanced lighting controls for greenhouses, set at $0.35/kWh. This new measure expands the market opportunity for the greenhouse sector, promoting further energy efficiency1.
A Note of Caution
While these changes offer exciting new opportunities, there is one caveat. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) plans to introduce a new midstream lighting incentive program in Q4 2023. When this program is launched, most lighting measures, including those under both custom and prescriptive streams, will be removed from the Retrofit program. As such, incentives for custom lighting projects will only be available in the Retrofit program for a limited time1.
These changes represent a significant evolution in Ontario’s energy efficiency landscape, offering greater flexibility and potential for energy savings. The year 2023 promises to be an exciting one for participants in the Save on Energy Retrofit program, as they navigate these changes and work towards a greener future. Ready to make the most of these 2023 updates? Reach out to Daisy Energy today – our experts are eager to help optimize your lighting needs, ensuring you fully benefit from the Save on Energy program changes.