CFF Toolkit

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. Program documents related to the new framework are available on the Interim Framework page.

LDC Supporting Documents for CFF Wind-Down


In order to support a clear and orderly wind-down of CFF programs, LDCs should refer to the following guidelines:


The Local Distribution Company (LDC) Tool Kit provides information and planning resources needed for LDCs to design an effective Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) plan to serve their customers. The Tool Kit below includes rules, targets and budgets, reference standards, guidelines and tools.

Energy Conservation Agreement

The Energy Conservation Agreement sets out the contractual relationship between the IESO and LDCs under the Conservation First Framework.

Targets & Budgets

LDC CDM Targets and Budgets

  • A table showing the target and budget allocated to each LDC using LDC Target and Budget Allocation Methodology.

LDC Target and Budget Allocation Methodology

  • The methodology used to determine the LDC CDM targets and budgets.

Target Exchange Guideline

  • The requirements for exchanging or trading CDM targets throughout the term of an LDC’s Energy Conservation Agreement (ECA).

Opportunity Accelerator Resource

  • This highlights brochure provides helpful information on the IESO funded LDC support offer called Opportunity Accelerator.

CDM Plan and Program Development

LDC Waiver Request Guideline

  • The purpose of this guideline is to outline the process for LDCs to request waivers of any obligations under the Energy Conservation Agreement, the Program Rules, or any other applicable Rules.

CDM Plan Submission and Review Criteria Rules

  • Rules for the roles, responsibilities and timing for CDM Plan submissions and approval criteria.

CDM Plan Amendment Guidelines

  • Intended to provide LDCs with guidance in understanding CDM Plan amendment and resubmission requirements, criteria, and processes. It also outlines the process for minor amendments to a CDM Plan.

CDM Plan Template

  • Workbook to be used for the development of a LDC CDM Plan

CDM Energy Efficiency Cost Effectiveness Tool

  • This workbook can be used to calculate the cost effectiveness of customized CDM initiatives and programs.

Conservation and Demand Management Energy Efficiency Cost Effectiveness Guide

  • Description of standard industry metrics to assess the cost effectiveness of obtaining CDM energy savings.

Financial Modeling Tool

  • Workbook comparing the funding options available to LDCs. The model will enable the IESO and LDCs to compare the funding models in total and by program or sector as well as evaluate the impact of fulfilling and exceeding savings targets under each model.

Overview of Program Archetypes

  • Program archetypes represent average project or measure-level savings and costs associated with some province-wide programs. This archetype overview allows LDCs to forecast energy savings based on a projection of participation levels for each program archetype.

Reporting, Settlements and Financial Information

Data and Reporting Requirement Rules

  • Requirements for data and report exchange between LDC and IESO including content, timing, frequency and data exchange format.

Settlement Information Requirements Rules

  • Rules for invoicing, payment, quarterly reconciliations, and IESO value-added services.

Central Services Strategy and Rate Guideline

  • Explanation of central services the IESO will provide to support the development and implementation of LDC CDM Plans as well as the preliminary per-unit fixed rates for IESO value-added services.

Eligible Program Delivery Expenses Guideline

  • Types of prudent and appropriate delivery and administration expenses that are eligible for funding received through approved CDM Plans. This guideline does not include expenses for customer incentive, participant-based variable funding or other funding defined in program rules.

Conservation Program and Pilot Development

LDC Program Innovation Guideline

  • This updated guideline describes the process for the development and implementation of new LDC pilot programs.

IESO Pre-Consultation Request Form – Program and Pilot Business Cases

  • This form is used to request a pre-consultation with the IESO in the design phase of LDC conservation programs and/or pilots.

Process Diagram for IESO Review of Programs and Pilots

  • The IESO review process for LDC program and pilot business cases

Business Case Template for Province-Wide Conservation Programs – Version 1

  • Business case template for new and changes to province-wide programs

Business Case Template for LDC Innovation Fund Pilots – Version 1

  • Business case template for new and changes to Innovation Fund pilots

Business Case Template for Local LDC Programs – Version 1

  • Business case template for new and changes to local programs

IESO Debrief Request Form – Program & Pilot Business Cases

  • This form is used to request a debrief with the IESO following the submission of a business case for conservation programs and/or pilots.

Avoiding Duplication Guideline

  • An outline of the tests to be used to determine whether or not a local distributor program duplicates an existing province-wide or regional distributor program.

Collaboration and Multi-Site Customer

Gas Collaboration Guideline

  • How LDCs may collaborate with gas utilities as part of their CDM plans

LDC Collaboration Fund Application and Funding Guideline Version 2.0

  • The updated process for applying for funding through the LDC Collaboration Fund, including the criteria that will be used to assess and approve applications.

LDC Collaboration Fund Application Form (.docx)

  • Application form to be used by LDCs in making submissions to the LDC Collaboration Fund. Please review the updated LDC Collaboration Fund Guidelines before submitting an application.

LDC Collaboration Fund Midpoint Report Template (.docx)

  • Template of LDC Collaboration Fund mid-point report which includes a description of the activities completed to date, preliminary results and detailed expenses to date.

LDC Collaboration Fund Final Report Template (.docx)

  • Template of LDC Collaboration Fund final report which includes the activities undertaken to complete the project, final results, effectiveness of the project, detailed final expense report, and recommendations for future improvements.

LDC Collaboration Fund Reconciliation Report Template (.docx)

  • To be submitted upon acceptance of final report to provide a summary of all the eligible costs versus the actual project expenditures. Must include proof of purchase such as invoices and supporting documents.

LDC Collaboration Fund Exception Report Requirements (.docx)

  • An exception report is only necessary if another reporting requirement is past due and must include an explanation on not meeting a requirement, a description of any activities being taken to address the issues and a revised expected completion date.

Multi-Site Customer Guideline

  • Strategies to enhance the coordination between LDCs and the IESO in promoting cost-effective CDM measures to customers with multiple locations across two or more service areas.

Implementation Guideline for Multi-Site Customer Strategy

  • Further detail on how to implement the guidelines. It includes three elements: 1) identifying high-potential customers; 2) engaging customers; and 3) making participation easy.

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) Protocols and Requirements

  • Reference standard for use by LDCs, the IESO and other CDM stakeholders in Ontario. It provides guidance and instruction for the undertaking of a robust evaluation of CDM programs.

Project Measurement and Verification Procedures (Retrofit Program)

  • Procedures that guide LDCs and their project evaluators in selecting approaches and methods for estimating energy and demand savings of custom projects in the Retrofit Program.

Evaluation Guideline

  • The evaluation process, including: roles and responsibilities, general scope, evaluation schedule, data requirements and governing documents (e.g. EM&V protocols).

Measurement and Verification Guideline

  • The governance, roles and responsibilities and principles for measurement and verification (M&V) activities for province-wide, regional and local conservation programs.

Mid-Term Review

Mid-Term Review Guideline

  • Guidance on the process, timing and content of a formal mid-term review of the implementation of the 2015-2020 Conservation First Framework.

Achievable Potential Study (2016)

Short-term APS worksheet

  • Province-wide APS energy efficiency short-term results worksheet.

Long-term APS worksheet

  • Province-wide APS energy efficiency long-term results worksheet.

Behind-the-Meter Generation (BMG), Fuel Switching, and PSUP

Behind-the-Meter Generation Projects Rules

  • Parameters for eligible behind-the-meter generation (BMG) projects that may be accepted into conservation programs.

Eligible BMG Projects Review Process Guideline

  • The review and approval process for incentives for eligible behind-the-meter generation (BMG) projects and studies under the Process and Systems Upgrades Program.

Fuel Switching Guideline

  • How fuel switching measures may be integrated into conservation programs designed by local distribution companies (LDCs) in the 2015-2020 CDM Framework.

New Construction BMG Review Guideline

  • The Guideline outlines the parameters for eligibility and reviewing Behind-the-Meter Generation (BMG) projects for new construction facilities which may be accepted into the Process and Systems Upgrades Program (PSUP).

District Energy Projects Review Guideline

  • The Guideline clarifies the types of projects involving district energy (DE) systems that are eligible for funding under the Process and Systems Upgrades Program (PSUP).


Save on Energy Marketing Standard

  • Marketing standards to ensure that the Save on Energy brand is applied in a consistent manner across all CFF marketing materials. Note:  Marketing materials are available to LDCs on the Marketing Asset Portal. Please contact for more information.


Pay-for-Performance Rules

  • Pay-for-performance rules for: a) how the LDC can elect to receive pay-for-performance funding; b) how pay-for-performance rates are established and changed; and c) how the LDC should budget for, and will be paid, pay-for-performance funding.

Pay-for-Performance Guidelines

  • An overview of the pay-for-performance funding mechanism and the process for electing to receive pay-for-performance funding

Regional Planning

Conservation in Regional Planning Primer

  • This primer shows linkages between conservation and regional planning and provides information to help the development of CDM plans and distributor programs that can contribute to, and benefit from, regional and community energy planning goals.

LDC Regions and Contacts

  • List of LDC regions and contacts.

Northern Ontario Planning Zones

  • Map of Northern Ontario zones for planning purposes.

Southern Ontario Planning Zones

  • Map of Southern Ontario zone for planning purposes.