Interim Framework

A new Interim Framework is taking the place of the Conservation First Framework, which was discontinued effective March 21, 2019 by ministerial directive. The new framework for provincially delivered energy-efficiency programs, also by ministerial directive, began April 1..


Implementation of the directives means that the IESO will centrally deliver energy-efficiency programs on a province-wide basis and will focus primarily on business and industrial programs until December 31, 2020. These changes will reduce the costs associated with program delivery, while continuing to deliver a valuable and cost-effective system resource that helps customers better manage their energy costs.

  • Programs for the 2019-2020 interim framework include: the Retrofit Program, Small Business Lighting, the Energy Manager Program, Process and System Upgrades, Energy Performance Program, Home Assistance Program and energy-efficiency programming for Indigenous communities.
  • The following programs will no longer be offered: the Business Refrigeration Incentive, the Audit Funding Program, Residential New Construction, High Performance New Construction, Existing Building Commissioning, Monitoring and Targeting, Instant Discount (Deal Days) and the Heating and Cooling Incentive.
  • All local programs will be discontinued. There will, however, be an opportunity for LDCs to apply to the IESO for funding for cost-effective local programs. Final guidelines are expected to be available by May 31, 2019. Existing pilot programs that are in market will be allowed to be completed as per their agreements; however, new pilot program proposals that were under review by the IESO will not continue.
  • LDCs will continue to manage projects with customers with whom they have binding agreements. Customers with existing contracts can still expect to receive their incentive upon project completion, which must be by December 31, 2020.
  • Transmission-connected customers will be able to access other Save on Energy programs. More information about eligibility and program rules will be forthcoming. Transmission-connected customers should contact their IESO Business Advisor with any questions about current projects, applications or further energy-savings opportunities.

June 5, 2019: Ontario Interim Energy-Efficiency Framework Targets Released

Energy-efficiency efforts in Ontario are well positioned to help the province achieve real energy savings and reduce costs. The IESO’s Program Plan for the 2019/20 Interim Framework sets out an approach that provides streamlined energy-efficiency programs in ways that will achieve the most impact. Save on Energy programs will target businesses, Indigenous communities and low-income consumers, while at the same time, reducing costs up to $442 million.

This plan will also set the stage for the evolution for future initiatives that build on private sector capabilities to promote and incent energy efficiency. As part of its preparations for 2020 and beyond, the IESO will reach out to consumers and stakeholders alike to develop new approaches to ensure that Ontario’s electricity system can rely on conservation as the most cost-effective form of supply.

A breakdown of the Interim Framework budget and targets is available here.