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.

Transition Support

The IESO is committed to working with and supporting LDCs throughout this transition period and will provide information and resources as transition activities progress. LDCs should note:  

  • A Notice of Termination under Section 11.2(a) of the Energy Conservation Agreements was issued March 21, 2019, to all LDCs, triggering the requirements to begin wind-down activities.
  • A CFF Program Wind-Down Guideline is available for details associated with each program.  In addition, the Wind-Down Cost Guideline describes what expenses may be considered eligible during the wind-down period. These and other support materials, including FAQs, are available on the IESO extranet.
  • The IESO will continue to provide updates to LDCs through Conservation E-blasts. E-blasts will notify LDCs of upcoming conference calls and support materials. A new e-blast will also provide stakeholders and customers with regular updates on transition activities. LDC business advisors are, as usual, available for follow up.