Improving Energy Efficiency is Getting Easier

Geoexchange systems are recognized by provincial and municipal governments as an efficient method of heating and cooling buildings. To promote the adoption of this clean technology, governments have implemented a whole host of incentives for retrofitting or building new commercial buildings with geoexchange.


Each provincial government provides different levels of funding for commercial geoexchange projects – some provide significant funding opportunities, and some provide none at all. A sampling is provided below. For more detailed information, please see the Canadian Geoexchange Coalition.


  • BC Hydro Project Implementation Funding provides up to 75% of the incremental project cost for retrofits to commercial and institutional projects that save a minimum of 100,000 kWh/year (or 50,000 kWh for mechanical or HVAC only projects) by implementing a proven energy saving technology, where the project performance is measurable and sustainable.
  • BC Hydro's Project Incentive Funds will fund up to 75% of project costs or buy down the payback period to as little as one year on any permanent project that will save at least $2,500 annually.
  • BC Hydro also has its Power Smart New Construction Program that provides up to 100% of energy study funding and tiered capital incentives ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 per 100,000kWh saved on whole building designs, or capital incentives up to $30,000 per 100,000kWh saved on system designs.
  • Manitoba Hydro provides Feasibility Study Assistance and/or a System Installation Incentive for commercial buildings. Manitoba Hydro will contribute up to a maximum grant of $10,000 per feasibility study and up to $1.25 per sq. ft. heated by a geothermal heat pump system. Learn more here.
  • The Manitoba Geothermal Energy Incentive Program can provide up to $150,000 to building owners who install new district geothermal service.

The Ontario government is the most proactive of the Canadian provincial governments in its efforts to have geoexchange incorporated into commercial projects. Through various programs it offers generous incentives to promote the installation of geoexchange.

  • The Ontario Power Authority’s High Performance New Construction Program provides incentives for new industrial, commercial, institutional, and multi-family residential projects across Ontario – with the exception of the (416) area code - with the goal of reducing peak electric demand in new buildings. This program is replaced by BOMA’s CDM program for the City of Toronto. The builder has the option to choose either a prescriptive or a custom path, which also determines the eligible incentive. Additional information can be found on this program under "municipal incentives" below. Learn more here.
  • Ontario Power Authority's Industrial Accelerator provides financial incentives of up to $10 million for capital projects, based on the lesser of:
    • $230 per MWh for annualized electricity savings, or
    • 70% of the eligible project costs, or
    • Achieving a one-year simple payback

Additional incentives may be offered through municipalities and local distribution companies. Please contact them for information about any additional incentives. In addition, please consult Ontario’s Energy Efficiency Resource and Funding Guide to learn more about the programs, resources and financial incentives available in Ontario.

  • NS Power Commercial & Industrial Custom Program offers incentive amounts tailored to the requirements of each project based on cost-effectiveness, the equipment involved and other factors. The maximum incentives for any project may be up to: $1,000 for a preliminary energy audit/scoping study; $15,000 for a feasibility study; and $500,000 or 50% of eligible costs for implementation.


Municipalities across Canada are setting stringent energy efficiency targets. Grants and incentives exist at the Municipal level across Canada - check with your municipality for grants and incentives that apply to you.

A few of our favourites to get you started:

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) was created by the City of Toronto’s Energy Efficiency Office to provide resources including financial assistance for both energy efficient retrofits and new construction. BBP is currently partnered with the Ontario Power Authority to deliver attractive energy savings incentives for buildings within the 416 area code. Information on both the new construction and retrofit incentives, as well as the necessary application forms, are found here.

In addition to the above funding provided by municipal governments, those same governments can also be the recipient of funding for “green” projects through The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund™, which supports municipal initiatives across Canada that benefit the environment, local economies and quality of life. The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund.

For more information on commercial incentives where you live, please contact CleanEnergy.