Canada is beginning a program to offer financial assistance to organizations to implement a standard to improve commercial and institutional building energy efficiency.
The program is designed to get the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard more widely implemented in buildings across Canada. The standard is a structured framework to improve energy performance by improving the efficiency of energy-intensive assets.
The financial assistance is open to industry associations, utilities, indigenous organizations, as well as municipal, provincial and territorial governments. The goal is to implement the standard in buildings for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 fiscal years.
Canada has a target to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. The buildings sector is the third-largest source of emissions in Canada, representing about 18% of the country’s emissions.
To help achieve its net-zero target, Canada has a goal of reducing the emissions from buildings by 37% through 2030. Some of the plans to reach that goal include construction of new net-zero buildings, retrofitting existing buildings to be more sustainable and energy efficient, and making improvements in water and heating systems.
The International Energy Agency says to hit global net-zero targets, all new buildings and 20% of existing buildings need to be zero-carbon as soon as 2030. In the United States, the Department of Energy recently stated its intention to release $225 million to state and local governments to improve energy efficiency in buildings.
Regina is an example of a Canadian city taking on energy efficiency projects. It plans to be net-zero by 2050 in large part by improving building efficiency with net-zero construction, renewable energy, and efficient heating systems.
The ISO 50001 framework helps develop a policy for more efficient use of energy as well as fixed targets to meet that policy. It also uses data to help understand a building’s energy use and to measure results. It also aims to continually improve energy management.
The Canadian funding for the ISO 50001 standard would be used to reimburse eligible projects, such as feasibility studies, action commitments, compliance, and certification. Eligible for-profit organizations could receive up to 60% of costs, and non-profit organizations up to 75% of costs.
There is a cap of about $31,000 per building and $154,000 per fiscal year. Applications for the program are being accepted from Sept. 19, 2022, through Oct. 21, 2022.