All about the Northern Energy Program

The Northern Energy Program, available to members of the commercial and industrial sectors, is administered by the Government of Ontario, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). The program provides energy management and monitoring, research and development, and financial incentives.

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency at NRCan, the Northern Energy Program supports the pursuit of innovative solutions to renewable energy generation and conservation. The point of the program is to eventually lower energy consumption costs and capitalize on energy opportunities through the pursuit of clean alternatives in order to reduce the demand on external energy sources. There are two incentives available via the program, including: International Energy Generation Projects and Renewable Energy Planning.

Guidelines for Renewable Energy Planning

Funding assistance is available for renewable energy planning where a partnership has been formed between a municipality and/or First Nation. This component of the program is designed for businesses or non-profit organizations within the energy sector pursuing the creation of renewable energy projects. Funding for this type of research is available for engineering and design costs and relevant environmental studies related to the project.

Funding assistance is available in the form of forgivable performance loans or conditional contributions. Companies applying for Renewable Energy Planning may receive a maximum contribution of 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $100,000.

Guidelines for Internal Energy Generation

Those eligible for internal energy generation include businesses and non-profits that look to establish energy generation systems for their own use, therefore reducing the demand on external energy sources. Projects under consideration must generate energy from a renewable source including: wind; solar; biomass; geothermal; waste heat recovery systems; and/or hydro.

Companies applying for funding under the Internal Energy Generation Projects may receive a maximum contribution of 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $250,000.

What is not eligible for funding under the Northern Energy Program

While the program was formerly open to companies seeking renewable energy capital-cost differential assistance and or looking to fund energy conservation pilot projects, both components of the program have recently been removed. Moreover, according to the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation website, costs which are not eligible for funding under the program include:

  • Operating costs for capital projects
  • Maintenance costs
  • Renewable energy planning projects without community partnerships
  • Feasibility and resource studies
  • Feed-in-Tariff and Micro Feed-in-Tariff projects
  • Rolling stock (e.g.: motor vehicles, boats, planes, etc.)
  • Infrastructure costs for water, sewer, roads, parking lots and landscaping
  • Costs for the construction of new “energy efficient” buildings
  • Projects for buildings associated with residential use
  • Joint projects
  • Heat recovery ventilators
  • Commercial and retail buildings
  • Public buildings that do not provide broad public use/benefits
  • Federal and Provincial infrastructure and buildings such as schools, medical centres and offices (excluding post-secondary institutions)
  • Conservation related projects

Companies or organizations interested in applying for funding under the Northern Energy Program can do so using this application form. More information is available online via Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Questions or comments about the Northern Energy Program? Leave them below.

image credit: alan shapiro