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Financial assistance for ISO 50001 in commercial and institutional buildings.

The call for proposals for financial assistance under Natural Resources Canada’s ISO 50001 program for commercial and institutional buildings is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard

The ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard is an internationally recognized voluntary standard that gives organizations a structured framework to improve energy performance by making better use of energy-intensive assets.

Organizations that have implemented ISO 50001 have reduced energy costs and increased competitiveness while minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts.Footnote 1 For example, Hilton Hotels achieved portfolio-wide ISO 50001 certification across all hotel buildings. From 2008 to 2016, Hilton saved over $783 million on cumulative energy costs, and improved energy performance by 18.60%.

Financial assistance to help implement ISO 50001

To help implement ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems in commercial and institutional buildings in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 fiscal years, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provides financial assistance up to 60% of eligible costs for for-profit organizations (commercial buildings) and up to 75% of eligible costs for not-for-profit organizations (institutional buildings) to a maximum of $40,000 per building. The implementation of the project must be completed by March 31, 2025.

The maximum contribution to an organization’s building portfolio is $200,000 per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). For a multi-building project proposal, the parent organization is responsible for allocating NRCan’s proposed contribution among qualifying buildings up to the maximum allowable combined funding limit. This financial assistance can be combined with other funding sources. When it is, NRCan may adjust its level of funding, if appropriate.

Eligible ISO 50001 projects

The following types of projects may be eligible for financial assistance:

  • Feasibility Study – Includes a gap analysis and other similar types of studies and is meant to assess the practicality and viability of implementing ISO 50001 Energy Management System in the organization.
  • Feasibility Study with Action Commitment – Includes a gap analysis and other similar types of studies and is meant to assess the practicality and viability of implementing ISO 50001 Energy Management System in the organization. This includes the organization’s commitment to implement recommended actions.
  • ISO 50001 Compliance – Includes implementing all energy management system requirements with the objective to implement an energy management system in accordance with all the criteria of the ISO 50001 standard.
  • ISO 50001 Certification – Includes implementing an energy management system certified to the ISO 50001 standard.

Eligibility for financial assistance

Eligible organizations include commercial and institutional buildings owners and operators, municipal/provincial/territorial governments, utilities, industry associations, and Indigenous organizations. If your project is selected to receive financial assistance from NRCan to implement an eligible ISO 50001 project you must register your facilities in the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool.

Eligible project costs

  • Salaries and benefits on the payroll of the Applicant for the actual time spent by the employees on the project
  • Professional, scientific, technical, management, data collection and contracting
  • Travel expenditures for training, including meals and accommodation
  • Training, including facilitator fees, costs of training development, promotion, deployment, and evaluation
  • License fees, data purchases, certification costs, and permits
  • Purchasing costs for instrumentation, software, and metering (other capital cots are ineligible). Funding of this expenditure is contingent on the facility implementing an energy management system in accordance with all the criteria of the ISO 50001 standard
  • Materials, supplies and equipment
  • Equipment rental
  • Rental of facilities, audio and visual services and other related costs (excluding hospitality and prizes) associated with delivering workshops, delivering training, conferences, meetings, and special events; and
  • GST, PST or HST, net of any tax rebate to which the Recipient is entitled

Ineligible project costs

  • Fees for tasks started before NRCan’s approval and execution of a Contribution Agreement
  • Energy retrofits (for example, HVAC systems)
  • Installation costs of equipment and systems (including the costs associated with the installation of instrumentation software and metering equipment)
  • Capital projects; and
  • ISO 50001 re-certification or fees associated with re-certification

Evaluation Process 

Each application is evaluated based on a defined set of merit-based criteria. The criteria include the energy savings potential, project feasibility, and proposal completeness based on receipt of a complete proposal. As part of an approval decision, the completeness of your proposal may impact the assessment of the application.

If your project is selected for funding, a program officer will contact you to outline how to proceed. NRCan will approve as many projects as possible until all available funds have been allocated to projects. Project approvals and financial assistance will be offered to the projects that score the highest based on the evaluation criteria until the program funding is fully allocated.

How to apply

To be eligible for financial assistance, an organization must follow this process:

Steps to Apply
  1. Email NRCan to request an Application Guide and project proposal template.
  2. Write your proposal following the instructions in the template.
  3. Submit your proposal to NRCan by the deadline for review and acceptance before you begin your project.
Application Process
  1. Notification of the receipt of your proposal is sent to you within five business days.
  2. Decision letters will be sent out once all proposal assessments have been completed.
  3. If your project is selected, you will receive a Letter of Conditional Approval.

Final selection decisions remain at the sole discretion of Natural Resources Canada.

Process after Approval
  1. A program officer will send you a draft contribution agreement for review within a month of issuing a Letter of Conditional Approval.
  2. A program officer will confirm when work can begin and provide you with the reporting templates. Note: You must complete a Gap Analysis Report within 6 months of the project start date and a Final Report within 1 year after the project start date. For multi-year projects, progress reports must be submitted every 6 months and the final report submitted when the project is complete. These reports are used to ensure projects are being completed according to the project proposal and the results are used to promote and create more awareness of the energy management in Canada.
  3. As described in the contribution agreement, you will submit reports and financial claims to receive reimbursement for costs incurred. A program officer will provide guidance, review the reports, and process the claims for reimbursement.  

Related Information

Natural Resources Canada ISO 50001 Webinar

A pre-recorded webinar with details about the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard program is available. Please email to receive the Application Guide, Project Reporting Templates, and the pre-recorded webinar. 

50001 Ready Navigator Tool

The 50001 Ready Navigator Tool is a free online project management tool that guides users through all the steps associated with energy management system project implementation. The guidance that the tool provides is in adherence to the ISO 50001 energy management standard and has recently been updated to be in accordance with the ISO 50001: 2018 version standard. 


The ENERGY STAR and PORTFOLIO MANAGER names and the ENERGY STAR symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.


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