CDM Plans

The Conservation First Framework (CFF) reflects an evolution of conservation planning and management in Ontario. It focuses less on central administration, and brings greater emphasis to the role of the LDCs in Ontario. Now, LDCs can better tailor conservation planning to meet the needs of their local communities and the larger region.

Collectively, Ontario’s LDCs are responsible for planning cost effective ways to reduce 7 TWh of electricity consumption by December 31, 2020, with individual targets assigned to each.  To meet these targets, LDCs have developed their own six-year plans for delivering CDM programs to their customers, assisted by the tools, support and guidance of the IESO.

LDCs submitted their CDM plans to the IESO for review and approval in 2015. Plans and the accompanying conditional approval letters are posted below as they are approved. Use the dropdown menu to search by LDC.



CDM plans can be developed individually or in partnership with other LDCs for cost sharing and greater integration with other regions. They can include province-wide programs, which are available to all customers in Ontario, local programs designed by LDCs specific to their own communities, or a mix of both. Natural gas distributors are also encouraged to contribute to program design in areas where they might share customers or program goals.  Other key components of CDM plans include:

  • Targets and funding – The share of the total 7 TWh target assigned to each LDC was based on its individual characteristics, including socio-economic conditions, growth rates, and past program performance. LDC budgets were based on their share of the energy savings target at pre-established funding rates. These targets are location-specific within an LDC’s service territory, which gives them more flexibility to collaborate with other utilities and to contribute to broader regional plans.
  • New and ongoing programs –The CDM plan development process encourages LDCs to submit conservation programs of their own design. LDCs are encouraged to pursue Local/Regional Programs suited to their communities or to the larger region where there are market gaps and opportunities not addressed through the province-wide programs. Where applicable, they are also encouraged to design and deliver Local/Regional Programs in partnership with other LDCs. Once approved, the IESO will continue to provide ongoing support for the implementation and assessment of these programs. In the case of ongoing province-wide programs, an emphasis on continuity and transparency helps maintain a consistent customer experience.
  • New funding model opportunities – LDCs may choose between two types of funding models to meet their energy-saving target:
    • Full cost recovery – the IESO will reimburse all eligible costs and expenses incurred by LDCs in the design, development and delivery of their CDM plan;
    • Pay-for-performance – the IESO will pay LDCs based on a pre-specified value for each verified kilowatt hour of electricity savings achieved, shifting compensation risk to the LDCs in exchange for the chance of a greater reward.
  • CDM plan approval – – In addition to proposed programs, CDM plans will include milestones, budgets and expected energy savings. The IESO follows a streamlined approval process for CDM plans and proposed programs, to reduce barriers, while ensuring cost oversight and the avoidance of program duplication. 
  • Continuous assessment and improvement – CDM plans may be updated by LDCs as often as needed to reflect actual program performance, addition of new programs, and other adjustments made based on a revised understanding of market opportunities. This also allows for potential adjustments to LDC target and budget following the CFF  Mid-term Review of the seven TWh target to be commenced June 2017.
  • Ongoing support – The IESO is supporting CDM plans in many ways, both during its design and throughout the implementation lifespan. Support provided includes the sharing of best practices, offering of program delivery services as required by LDCs, and the building of marketplace awareness through marketing and communication. The IESO will also provide centralized customer service and technical support, market research, program evaluation and measurement, and training.

Regional and Community Planning Integration

With a focus on ensuring coordination within the energy marketplace, LDCs are required to describe how their conservation programs consider needs and investments identified in other stages of energy planning, including Integrated Regional Resource Planning, distribution system plans, and community energy plans.

By sharing CDM plans and associated activities, LDCs give other planners within the energy marketplace important information on program commitments and projected savings. This sharing of information fosters an ability to better identify areas for focusing resources and partnering with other LDCs. For example, LDCs can target programs and marketing to customers in areas where there may be greater energy requirements.

Contributing to and benefiting from these initiatives could ultimately help achieve local reliability at a lower cost to ratepayers.

Although CDM plans focus on the 2015-2020 timeframe, their goals and objectives may lay the groundwork to achieve savings that address the longer-term needs as identified through the regional planning process.