Climate Action Incentive Fund: Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Project stream
Applicant Guide 2019
1. Purpose of this Guide
This Applicant Guide provides assistance to applicants completing and submitting their application for the first round of funding under the SME Project stream of the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF). This Guide outlines key program details, including eligibility criteria and detailed instructions for completing and submitting an application.
2. Carbon pollution pricing and the Climate Action Incentive Fund
In October 2016, the Government of Canada announced the Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution, which gave provinces and territories the flexibility to implement their own carbon pollution pricing systems, as long as they met the minimum federal criteria. The federal government also committed to implementing a federal carbon pollution pricing system in provinces and territories that request it or do not have a carbon pollution pricing system that meets those criteria.
The federal fuel charge came into effect on April 1, 2019, in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. The Government of Canada committed to return the vast majority of the direct proceeds collected from the federal fuel charge through Climate Action Incentive payments to individuals and families in those provinces. The remainder of the proceeds will be distributed through programming, primarily through the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF), which will provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), municipalities, universities, colleges, schools, and hospitals (MUSH sector), and not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) in the province from which the proceeds were collected.
The central objectives of CAIF are to support eligible applicants undertake projects that will help them reduce their energy usage, costs, and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CAIF has three streams: the SME Project stream to support larger projects by SMEs, the MUSH Retrofit stream to support entities within the MUSH sector, and the Rebate stream to support the purchase of energy efficient equipment by SMEs and NFPs.
3. Small-and Medium-sized Enterprises Project stream
The SME Project stream of CAIF provides funding to help SMEs undertake projects in one of the eligible provinces (as set out in section 3.2) in order to reduce their energy usage, costs, and/or GHG emissions.
The following table shows the estimated total amount of proceeds that will be collected through the federal carbon pricing system in 2019-20 and returned to the jurisdictions of origin through the SME Project stream.
|Jurisdiction||Funding in 2019-20|
The SME Project stream will be offered in multiple rounds and this guide refers specifically to the summer 2019 round where approximately half of the available 2019-20 funding will be allocated. Updates on additional rounds of funding will be provided as they become available.
3.2 Eligibility checklist
In order for your application to be considered for funding (up to 25% towards eligible costs), it must meet, at a minimum, the following eligibility requirements:
- be submitted by an incorporated small- or medium-sized enterprise (with fewer than 500 employees), operating in at least one of these provinces: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick (hereinafter referred to as “eligible provinces”);
- request more than $20,000 and up to a maximum of $250,000 of the eligible costs per project*;
- propose a project that:
- is implemented no earlier than the date of the approval-in-principle notification sent by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and no later than March 31, 2021;
- has a confirmed project site** in one of the eligible provinces;
- helps your enterprise reduce energy use, costs, and/or GHG emissions associated with its operations;
- does not result in your enterprise emitting more GHG emissions from its operations and leads to long-term cost-savings (see section 5.1);
- aligns with eligible project categories, activities and expenditures (see section 5 and 6);
*Eligible applicants can submit up to five (5) applications for individual projects using the same business number; however, the total sum requested by the same applicant cannot exceed the maximum funding cap of $250,000 in each eligible province. If your SME has a franchise agreement with a franchisor, the $250,000 funding cap will apply to the group of applicant franchisees who operate under the same franchise trade name in each eligible province.
**For transportation projects, heavy-duty and marine vehicles must be registered in one of the eligible provinces.
3.3 Key steps
To receive funding support, eligible applicants must:
- submit a complete application that meets all program eligibility requirements;
- receive approval-in-principle notification informing them that their application was successful;
- sign a funding agreement with ECCC within forty-five (45) business days of receiving the approval-in-principle notification and comply with its terms and conditions;
- implement and complete the project as originally intended unless otherwise agreed to by ECCC;
- submit claim(s), with valid supporting documentation in line with eligible costs; and
- comply with the reporting requirements of the funding agreement.
An applicant may receive funding for up to 25% of their project’s total eligible costs, provided that the above criteria have been met. Please see Section 10 for more details on the claims process.
4. Applicant eligibility
Eligible applicants must be:
- an incorporated small-sized enterprise* (between 1 and 99 employees) or a medium-sized enterprise* (between 100 and 499 employees); and
- operating in at least one of the eligible provinces;
* Participants in an output-based pricing system are not eligible for funding under the SME Project stream of CAIF.
5. Project eligibility and requirements
5.1 Project scope, objectives, and timeframe
- The project start date* must be no earlier than the date of the approval-in-principle notification sent by ECCC and the project end date must be no later than March 31, 2021
- As explained in sections 6.2 and 9 below, in order to be eligible for the SME Project stream, project activities must be completed and any associated eligible expenditures incurred and paid within the aforementioned project timeframe. As such, costs for any activities prior to, or after, that period must be excluded from the project scope and from the application.
- The project scope must be clearly defined and align with the CAIF program objectives (i.e. reduce energy, costs and/or GHG emissions), eligible project categories, activities, technologies, and timeframe as outlined in this Guide. Ineligible activities cannot be included in the project proposal. Eligible project expenditures described in the application must be linked to project milestones.
- The project site must be identified before the application is submitted. The SME Project stream will only fund projects where activities, investments, and locations have been confirmed.
- The project cannot result in increased GHG emissions** associated with the operations of the applicant enterprise.
- The project should result in cost-savings in the long term. While the SME Project stream has been designed to help SMEs reduce their costs, the timeframe over which these cost-savings will be achieved may vary.
* Recognizing that the signing date of the approval-in-principle notification is yet unknown, applicants should, when proposing an estimated project start and end date in their application, take into account the timeframes associated with the key dates (section 8.4) provided in this Guide, including the application submission deadline as well as the notification and funding agreement timelines.
**ECCC will use information provided in the project description and the outcomes table in the application form to confirm that the proposed project will not result in increased GHG emissions.
5.2 Eligible project categories and sample activities or measures
The following table lists eligible project categories with examples of key project activities or measures expected to result in reduced energy use, costs and/or GHG emissions. Proposed projects can identify activities or measures in more than one project category. The list of project activities or measures is not exhaustive and applicants may identify other project activities in their application, as long as they align with eligible project categories and all other eligibility requirements and program objectives. ECCC will determine whether the proposed project activities or measures are eligible for funding.
- Changes to agricultural processes to improve energy efficiency
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources in agricultural operations
- Other energy efficiency measures in the agricultural sector
- Enhancements to building envelope (with direct energy savings), including energy efficient windows/doors/skylights, increased insulation, weatherproofing, and glazing
- Energy efficient lighting system
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment/systems/controls
- Water heating retrofits, including high efficiency condensing water heating
- High efficiency motors and controls
- Energy management controls, including building automation systems
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources in existing buildings
Electricity, energy or fuel production
- District energy (heating and/or cooling)
- Combined heat and power for own use*
- Renewable energy systems (e.g. solar photovoltaic, wind energy, micro-hydro, stand-alone storage systems) on-site and for own-use*
- Low-emission fuel production for own-use*
Industrial process improvements
- Retrofitting and upgrading of existing equipment used for industrial processes
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources
- Process changes
- Waste-heat recovery
- Heavy-duty vehicle retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching to lower emitting sources
- Marine vehicle retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching to lower emitting sources
- Energy efficiency measures in waste management
* Refers to energy or fuel produced on-site and where the majority is used within an enterprise’s own operations. To be considered as “own-use”, the enterprise using the energy must also have majority ownership in the energy production asset(s). Please see Annex B (Glossary) for an extended definition of own-use.
Note: The SME Project stream will only fund projects using technologies at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale 8 or above. Consideration will be given to technologies that at the TRL scale lower than 8, if their projects had been funded and completed under Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
5.3 Ineligible project categories and sample activities
The following project categories and activities are not eligible under the SME project stream. ECCC will assess each application to confirm whether proposed project categories and activities are eligible.
Building energy efficiency
- New residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional construction
Electricity and/or energy production, transmission and distribution
- Electricity production for sale on the market
- Transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure
Forestry and Agriculture Sinks
- Enhancing carbon sinks in the forestry and agriculture sectors (e.g. afforestation, reforestation, changes to forest management, soil tillage practices and other carbon sequestration activities on agricultural lands)
- Fuel transportation infrastructure
- Production of low emissions fuels for sale on the market
- New vehicles, including electric vehicles (EV)
- EV charging stations
- Alternative fuel infrastructure for sale on the market
- Active transport (e.g. biking or pedestrian infrastructure)
- Public transit infrastructure and vehicles
- Increased recycling
- Organics diversion
5.4 Ineligible project types
The following projects are not eligible under this stream:
Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D)
- Any RD&D projects aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of a product or technology used as part of the project must conclude prior to the application. Any concurrent RD&D activities cannot be included in the project scope and costs. Exceptions may be given to SDTC-funded technologies, as indicated in section 5.2.
Educational and capacity-building elements
- Standalone educational, capacity-building or behaviour change projects are ineligible; however, technical staff or end-user training directly related to the implementation of the project may be eligible for funding.
Feasibility, standalone engineering or other prospective studies
- Projects dependent on any preliminary or other prospective studies (e.g. feasibility study, standalone engineering study) aimed at informing the decision of whether or not to go forward with the initiative are not eligible.
Construction of new buildings
- Projects based on the construction of new buildings are generally not eligible. However, new buildings designed to house large equipment for municipal waste or to improve energy efficiency in industrial processes may be eligible.
- Endowments, revolving funds, financing, loans and loan guarantees.
Non-commercial buildings or facilities
- Projects cannot be installed in a residential dwelling (e.g. home office) or a building where a single residence comprises the majority of the floor space in the building. For building retrofits, the SME Project stream will only fund projects installed in a commercial building, facility or a detached garage structure that is used for commercial purposes.
6. Project costs
6.1 Funding sources
If your project has been approved and continues to meet all the requirements for funding, ECCC is committed to fund up to a maximum amount of 25% of the total eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000 per applicant per eligible province. The applicant’s portion can also be comprised of other sources of funding, including those from:
- other federal government departments*
- provincial/territorial governments*
- municipal government*
- industry and/or partners such as:
- industry associations and networks
*When including funds from other government sources, the stacking limit must be respected. The maximum level of government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) that an applicant can receive cannot exceed 100% of the project’s total eligible costs. Some programs may have stacking rules that prevent those funds from being combined with CAIF funding.
6.2 Eligible expenditures
Eligible expenditures are costs considered by ECCC to be direct and necessary for the successful implementation of an eligible project and which are not one of the ineligible expenditures, as outlined below. Funding will be made towards eligible expenditures directly related to eligible projects that, in the opinion of ECCC, are reasonable, required to achieve program objectives and outcomes. Eligible expenditures must be incurred and paid on, or after, the date of the approval-in-principle notification received from ECCC and before the project’s end date, which cannot be later than March 31, 2021. These expenditures include, but are not limited to the following:
- all capital costs, including site preparation, only once ECCC is satisfied that the Government of Canada’s obligations, if any, related to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and the legal duty to consult with, and accommodate, Indigenous Peoples have been met;
- costs of acquiring, installing, rehabilitation and improvement of assets (e.g. site preparation);
- costs of material and supplies, and their installation;
- professional or specialized services needed to undertake eligible project activities and for which contracts are entered into, such as accounting, communications, official languages translation, audit, energy savings estimate verification, and results monitoring, measuring and reporting;
- costs of planning and assessment, such as surveying, engineering, architectural supervision, testing, and management consulting services. The Goverment of Canada will only contribute up to a maximum of 5% of its total contribution to the project towards these costs;
- costs of performing activities related to the project by contractors;
- costs of contracted work related to compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 including engineering and environmental reviews, costs related to an environmental assessment and the costs of mitigation measures, follow-up, and remedial activities identified in any environmental assessment;
- the incremental costs of the applicant’s employees may be included as eligible expenditures. Canada will only contribute up to a maximum of 2% of its total contribution to the project towards these costs provided that:
- the applicant is able to demonstrate that it is not economically feasible to tender a contract and clearly demonstrate that there is value for money in using internal employees;
- the employee is engaged directly in respect of the work that would have been the subject of the contract; and
- the arrangement is approved in advance and in writing by the Goverment of Canada.
Other direct project costs
- licenses and permits;
- leasing and/or purchase of equipment related to the project;
- training costs related to new technologies, equipment, software and systems;
- costs related to the consultation of Indigenous Peoples, specifically project-related consultation activities arising as a result of the Government of Canada’s legal duty to consult, where applicable;
- costs directly associated with joint federal communication activities (e.g. press releases, press conferences, translation) and with project signage related to funding recognition;
- travel expenditures (including the cost of accommodations, vehicle rental and kilometric rates, bus, train, airplane or taxi fares, allowances for meals and incidentals). The Goverment of Canada will only contribute up to a maximum of 5% of its total contribution to the project towards these costs. Of note, travel and per diem expenses cannot be more than the rates and allowances determined in the Travel Directive of the National Joint Council; and
- provincial sales tax, goods and services tax, or harmonized sales tax for which the applicant or a third party is not eligible for a rebate, and any other costs that are ineligible for rebates.
Eligible expenditures must be incurred on, or after, the date of the approval-in-principle notification received from ECCC in order to qualify for funding support of up to 25%.
6.3 Ineligible expenditures
Certain expenditures are not eligible for funding; therefore, applicants must not include them in the calculation of the total eligible costs of the proposed project. These ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- any costs incurred for cancelled or withdrawn projects;
- expenditures related to developing a business case or proposal for funding;
- expenditures related to purchasing land, real estate, vehicles and other fees;
- financing charges and interest payments on loans, including those related to easements (e.g. surveys);
- legal fees;
- leasing of equipment, except those specified as eligible expenditures;
- furnishing and non-fixed assets which are not essential for the operation of the project;
- costs associated with operating expenses and regularly scheduled maintenance work;
- any goods and services which are received through donations or in-kind contributions;
- any overhead costs, including salaries and other employment benefits of any employees of the applicant, direct or indirect operating or administrative costs of the applicant, and more specifically the costs related to planning, engineering, architecture, supervision, management and other activities normally carried out by its staff, except for those costs specified as eligible expenditures;
- provincial sales tax, goods and services tax, or harmonized sales tax for which the applicant or a third party is eligible for a rebate, and any other costs eligible for rebates;
- allowance for interest on invested capital, bonds, debentures, bank or other loans together with related bond discounts and finance charges;
- provisions for contingencies;
- premiums for life insurance on the lives of officers and/or directors;
- amortization of unrealized appreciation of assets;
- depreciation of assets;
- fines and penalties;
- increase in compensation for officers and employees;
- entertainment expenses;
- donations and in-kind contributions; and
- dues and other memberships.
All costs incurred prior to receiving the approval-in-principle notification from ECCC, unless otherwise agreed to by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, are ineligible for funding under CAIF.
7. Project considerations
7. 1 Environmental assessment
In Canada, several pieces of federal and provincial environmental assessment legislation may apply to your project depending on where it is located. As such, some projects require completed environmental assessment(s) prior to undertaking certain activities. Applicants are responsible for determining whether their projects may require an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and ensuring this assessment is completed. If you are unsure of what your responsibilities are, please consult your provincial/territorial government and the website on the basics of the federal environmental assessment.
7.2 Duty to consult
Note that the Government of Canada may have a legal duty to consult with, and if applicable, accommodate, Indigenous Peoples when it contemplates conduct that might adversely impact aboriginal or treaty rights. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right to hunt, fish, and practice traditional activities and ceremonies. In addition to assessing whether a project requires an environmental assessment, ECCC will assess potential impacts of projects on these constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights, in order to ensure that those affected are properly notified, consulted and, where required, accommodated. While the duty to consult is an obligation that rests with the Crown, the Government of Canada will expect successful applicants to carry out certain procedural aspects of consultation on a proposed project, where appropriate. For example, providing notification letters to, and organizing consultation sessions with, communities that will be affected by the proposed project. Please consult the Consultation and Accommodation Advice for Proponents website for further additional guidance on Indigenous consultation.
8. Application process and timelines
8.1 Submitting an application
The SME project stream will be open for applications on July 17, 2019 and will remain open for 90 days or until the funding for this round has been exhausted.
Eligible applicants can submit up to five (5) applications for individual projects using the same business number; however, the total sum requested by the same applicant cannot exceed the maximum funding cap of $250,000 in each eligible province. If your SME has a franchise agreement with a franchisor, the $250,000 funding cap will apply to the group of applicant franchisees who operate under the same franchise trade name in each eligible province.
At a minimum, applicants must provide ECCC with the following information about their respective SME:
- Business Information
- full legal and operational names
- 9-digit business number
- business address
- business size, industry sector (NAICS code), and affiliation
- business overview/mandate
- ownership of project assets
- Project Contact Information
- Name, job title, telephone and email of primary project contact
- Project Information
- Project title and objectives
- Project category
- Project schedule
- Project summary and detailed description
- Project location (address)
- Project Outcomes
- Estimated energy outcomes
- Estimated cost-savings
- Project Costs
- Project expenditures
- Sources of funding, other than CAIF
- Project Milestones
- Project milestones, timelines, and eligible expenditures
- Risks and Mitigation Strategies
- Potential risk, level of risk, and mitigation strategies
- Project Considerations
- Need for environmental consultation
- Need for consultation with Indigenous Peoples
- a short survey on your experience filling out the application form
- Application Certification
- an attestation that you agree to the terms & conditions
Consult Annex A for further instructions on how to complete your application.
8.2 Application selection process
ECCC will evaluate and select project proposals on a first come, first served basis after screening for eligibility using program requirements summarized in section 3.2 (e.g. applicant type as well as project objectives, category, activities, location, and costs). Project selection may also take into account project risk and risk mitigation measures as well as regional considerations, and prioritization for sectors that may be particularly affected by the carbon pollution pricing. As such, funding for certain types of applicants and/or projects may be exhausted before the application process closes. Note: ECCC reserves the right to make decisions on final selection based on other considerations.
8.3 Notification of application results
ECCC will notify both successful and unsuccessful applicants of the outcome of the selection process. If a project is approved for funding, ECCC will issue a notification of approval-in-principle and will indicate next steps. This notification does not guarantee that federal funding will be provided. Funding may be subject to certain conditions, such as the completion of an environmental assessment, regulatory authorizations/permits, or consultations with Indigenous Peoples (see section 9 for additional details). Applicants with unsuccessful applications will also receive an email notification. Decisions are final.
8.4 Key dates
- July 17, 2019: SME Project stream is announced
- July 2019: Registration via the SWIM opens
- July 2019: SME Project stream opens for applications
- Summer/Fall 2019: Notification of application results sent by ECCC
- Within 45 days of the Approval-in-Principle notification: Signing of funding agreement by ECCC and the successful applicant
9. Funding agreements
The signing of a funding agreement is the final step in the project approval process. The agreement will state the terms and conditions under which the Government of Canada will provide funding for the project. Federal funding to selected projects are contingent on the signing of a legally binding funding agreement between the Government of Canada and the successful applicant within 45 business days of the notification of approval-in-principle. Otherwise, the federal funding may be cancelled.
While successful applicants may begin their project after receiving an approval-in-principle notification from ECCC, they assume full responsibility for any project expenditures incurred until a funding agreement has been finalized with the Government of Canada. Eligible expenditures will only be reimbursed by ECCC subject to signing of the funding agreement, and meeting its conditions.
Since the approval of projects depends on the details provided in the application, the funding agreement will reflect the scope of work and eligible costs provided in the application. As such, ECCC will work with successful applicants to ensure the appropriate representation of project proposals in the funding agreements.
It is important that the scope of the project in the Application Form is clear and defined, as the successful applicant will be responsible for:
- completing the project according to the defined scope and within the timelines in the application;
- covering any cost overruns above the budget identified in the submitted application; and
- covering all costs associated with work performed outside the approved scope of a project.
Failure to finish the project within scope may result in a corresponding reduction of the federal contribution and/or claw back of funds. Further, the project may be considered as a cancelled project.
10. Submitting a claim, reporting, audit and evaluation
The funding agreement will lay out the process for submitting a claim and reports, and outline audit and evaluation requirements. ECCC will monitor activities, conduct audits and evaluations and seek information on program results.
10.1 Submitting a claim and payment of funding
Applicants will be required to submit their claims to ECCC for eligible expenditures. These expenditures must be incurred and paid on, or after, the date successful applicants have received an approval-in-principle notification from ECCC and before the project’s end date, which cannot be later than March 31, 2021. Successful applicants will be required to submit receipts and invoices, and any other relevant documentation with each claim. ECCC will endeavor to pay claims within 20 business days of receiving a complete claim and any associated report.
10.2 Reporting on results
Successful applicants will be required to submit progress status reports and a final report at the end of the funding agreement project phase
Successful applicants will be required to report on their energy (by type of energy), where applicable, and cost savings associated with the project. At a minimum, this will include providing:
- a breakdown of energy use incurred prior to project implementation; and
- a breakdown of expected energy use after project implementation. This information will allow ECCC to estimate energy, cost and GHG reductions associated with the project.
10.3 Site visits
ECCC representatives or other Government of Canada employees, or external experts hired by the Government of Canada may require access to the site or facility premises where funded projects and activities are taking or have taken place. Successful applicants will be expected to grant access to Government of Canada employees or their representatives. Such visits ensure that projects, for which funding is approved, are being carried out or implemented in accordance with the funding agreement.
Successful applicants may be subject to an audit. Successful applicants selected for audit will receive notification in advance. Professional auditing firms retained by ECCC will carry out the audits.
ECCC may conduct an evaluation of its program. Successful applicants may therefore receive a request to provide performance-related information to ECCC’s evaluator or to respond to a questionnaire to support the evaluation.
11. Service standards and point of contact
11.1 Service standards
ECCC has set some service standards for the timely and accurate delivery of the Application phase of the SME Project stream, under normal circumstances:
|General email acknowledging receipt of application||Within 1 business day of receipt|
|Application results notification||Within 25 business days after submitting the application (complex proposals may take longer). Note for early proposals: this service standard will be considered starting 30 business days after the launch of the program.|
11. 2 Contact us
To help ensure transparency and fairness and given our limited capacity to answer all requests for information, ECCC will refrain from individually assisting applicants with their applications.
For general information only regarding eligibility criteria and program parameters you may contact 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
For detailed enquiries, join one of our WebEx information sessions listed below. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions and our Application Guide. You are also encouraged to look for updates to the Frequently Asked Questions, as more answers will be added in this section on a regular basis.
For any technical issues related to website functionality and access (e.g., GCKey and Single Window Information Manager), please contact email@example.com. Under normal circumstances, you can expect to hear back from us within five (5) business days.
The information provided by an applicant in their application and under any other form will be used by the Government of Canada for the review, evaluation and selection of applications under the Climate Action Incentive Fund SME Project stream, that is administered and managed by ECCC, and/or for confirming past federal funding sought by the applicant.
Federal government institutions are bound by the requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, as well as the Library and Archives Canada Act. These laws apply to the use, disclosure and retention of information (such as personal, confidential or other) under the control of federal government institutions.
Applicants should note that ECCC may consult and share the information provided in Applications with other federal government institutions for the purpose of assisting ECCC with project review and evaluation, determining eligibility under other federal government programs, and confirming past federal funding sought by an applicant. ECCC may also use and disclose the information to external experts (e.g. scientific, technical, financial, marketing, or commercialization), hired by the Government of Canada under contract with confidentiality obligations, for the purpose of assisting ECCC with project review and evaluation and/or determining eligibility under other federal government programs.
In submitting an Application, applicants are consenting to such uses, sharing and disclosures of the information for the purposes described above. Applicants are invited to clearly identify in their Application the provision of any information that contains trade secrets, is confidential or that if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to, or to prejudice the competitive position of, a third party, or, to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a third party, as outlined in section 20 of the Access to Information Act. Once a funding contribution is approved and a funding agreement is signed, the name of the successful applicant, location, date of approval, the contribution amount, and the project description will be proactively disclosed to the public.
Annex A: how to complete an online application
Important note: While contractors or other partner organizations can help in completing the application form, the lead applicant must always be the small or medium-sized enterprise that owns and uses the assets benefitting from the project. Contractors or other partner organizations can be added as “Partner Users” in the application system to aid in completing the application form. Instructions on how to grant partners access to the Application are provided below.
The application form is designed to collect detailed information on a project to determine if it meets the requirements of federal funding under the SME Project stream.
In order to access the Climate Action Incentive Fund SME Project Based application from the SWIM home page, you must first connect your profile to your organization. First time users are strongly encouraged to review the guidance on the SWIM website, which includes a step-by-step walkthrough and short tutorial videos, to help facilitate setting up an account and accessing the online application form.
Below is a high-level summary of key steps that are outlined further in the guidance linked above:
- Log in by choosing a secure Sign-In method by either using your GCKey or via a Sign-In Partner.
- From the Single Window Information Manager (SWIM) home page, use the left hand navigation pane and select ‘My profile’.
- Ensure you have completed your profile, save. (first time users, see video: Connecting to Single Window for the first time).
- On the left hand navigation menu select ‘Organization’.
- Connect your profile to an organization by searching for the organization’s name or business number (see video: Connecting to an organization). If the organization cannot be found, add the organization by filling out the necessary information.
- Manage access for your organization (see video: Managing access to your organization).
- Return to the SWIM home page and select ‘Climate Change Funding Programs [sub-header] The Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF)’ to navigate to the Climate Action Incentive Fund SME Project Based application.
Further to the standard SWIM and GCKey guidance linked above, see additional instructions below on how to add a partner user to your online application:
If you need to add a partner user, such as a contractor or other partner organization to help with completing the application, follow the steps below:
- Once you have accessed the online application form for the CAIF SME Project Stream and have successfully created a new application: select “Application Permissions” in the left-hand menu
- Click the “Add Partner User” button
- Click the “Edit” button at the end of the row for the newly added Partner User in the table titled “Proposal Permissions for Partner Users”
- Using the drop-down menu, change the Privilege Level to “Partner (Editor)”
- Click “Update”
- Copy-paste the Token for that user in the last column of this table
- Share the token with the partner organization that will assist you in completing your application
Steps to be completed by the partner organization:
- Navigate to the welcome screen of the CAIF SME Project Stream online application system
- Rather than clicking to “Create New Application”, scroll down to “Partner’s Applications” and paste the token you have received from the lead applicant into the textbox and click “Redeem Partner’s Token”
- You now have access to the lead applicant’s application form and can help completing it. Note that the lead applicant is required to submit the application
Congratulations! You have successfully arrived at the Application for the SME Project stream of the Climate Action Incentive Fund.
The following instructions, which mirror the structure of the online form, will assist applicants in completing sections that require more explanation. Applicants are free to edit their applications prior to submission, as ECCC will only see the application once formally submitted; however, note that only one person can edit the application at a time while using the online application tool. All questions labeled as mandatory must be answered completely and accurately for the application to be considered. Failure to follow these instructions carefully may result in a project being rejected.
Section 1 – Business Information of the Applicant
1.01 Full legal name of the applicant business/enterprise: your business’ legal name, as it appears in legal documents such as articles of incorporation, certificate of incorporation, etc.
1.02 Operational name of the applicant business/enterprise: your business’ name used publicly and as it appears in marketing and/or promotional materials.
1.03 Business Number: a nine-digit number that Canada Revenue Agency assigns to a business for tax matters related to business in Canada.
1.04 Business Website: Official website URL of the business. If your organization does not have a website, enter “N/A”.
1.05 Social Media Handle: Official business social media channels (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) if applicable.
1.06 Contact Address: provide the mailing address of the organization applying for SME Project funding, including street address, city, province or territory, and postal code.
1.07 Business size: indicate whether the organization applying is a small- or a medium-sized business, as described in Section 4 of this Guide.
1.08 Business industry sector: consult the Statistics Canada website to determine the six-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada code that best describes your Canadian enterprise.
1.09 Business affiliation: indicate whether your business has a franchise agreement with a franchisor. If yes, provide the trade name of the franchise.
1.10 Brief overview of your business (maximum 2000 characters): provide a short description of:
- what your business does, its mandate and overall vision;
- the number of years it has been in operation; and
- role in the project and experience in carrying out similar projects.
1.11 Ownership of project assets (maximum 750 characters): indicate whether the business applying will be the ultimate owner of the assets associated with the project. If not, identify the business that will be the ultimate owner of the project assets and explain why your business is not the ultimate owner.
Section 2 – Contact Information
2.1 Primary contact: this is the authorized contact person for the project. Enter the name of the person in your business who has signing authority for the organization and will sign this application form.
Full name: provide the given name and surname of the project contact.
Job title: enter the title of the Project Contact (e.g., President, Executive Director).
Contact telephone: provide the phone number of the project contact.
Contact email address: provide the email address of the project contact.
2.2 Secondary project contact: if not applicable, enter N/A in the field. If applicable, enter the name of the person in your organization who can act as a secondary point of contact for this project.
Full name: provide the given name and surname of the secondary project contact.
Job title: enter the title of the Secondary Project Contact (e.g., Chief Financial Officer, Director).
Contact telephone: Provide the phone number of the secondary project contact.
Contact email address: Provide the email address of the project contact.
Section 3 – Project Information
3.1 Project title (maximum of 120 characters): identify the name of your project.
3.2 Project objectives: select at least one of the three CAIF objectives that your project will support.
3.3 Eligible project categories: select the eligible project category or categories that apply to your project.
3.4 Project schedule: indicate the estimated start and end date of your proposed project. The start and end dates refer to when eligible project expenditures are estimated to start and stop being incurred. The project timeframe must be after the successful applicant received the approval-in-principle notification from ECCC (start date) and before March 31, 2021 (end date). Recognizing that the signing date of the approval-in-principle notification is yet unknown, applicants should, when proposing an estimated project start and end date in their application, take into account the timeframes associated with the key dates (section 8.4) provided in this Applicant Guide, including the application submission deadline as well as the notification and funding agreement timelines.
3.5 Project summary (maximum of 500 characters): provide a short summary of the proposed project in plain language, focusing on the expected outcomes and benefits.
3.6 Detailed project description (maximum of 2500 characters): provide a more detailed description of your project, including key objectives and key project activities, and explain how expected project outcomes align or support the objectives of the program.
3.7 Project location: provide the site-location of your project. The project must be located in one of the eligible provinces.
Section 4 – Project Outcomes
4.1 Estimated energy outcomes: identify the type(s) of energy that will be impacted by your project. Next, input the annual energy consumption for the 2018 calendar year for each energy type by consulting your energy bill(s) and indicate the relevant energy unit.
Note: it is important to check if the unit type on your energy bill matches the unit type selected in the drop down menu. Only the most common types of energy and energy units have been included in the drop down lists in the form. If the energy unit used in your energy bill is not listed in the drop down menu, you may convert it to one of the units listed in the drop down list. Alternatively, if the type of energy or energy unit on your energy bill is not listed in the drop down menu, you may select the Other - Please Specify option and input the type of energy and unit relevant to you. Examples of what could be included under the Other - Please Specify option include, but are not limited to:
Type of energy
- Aviation gasoline
- Bitumen emulsion
- Natural gas liquids/Liquefied petroleum gases
- Coal coke
- District chilled water
- District hot water
- District steam
- Landfill gas
- Petroleum coke
- Still gas
- Ton hours
- 33-pound cylinder
- Cubic foot (ft3)
- 100 cubic feet (ccf)
- Gallons (US)
- Gallons (UK)
- Pounds (lbs)
- Thousand pounds (lbs)
- Full cords
- Pellets (tonnes)
- Short tonne
- Long tonne
Next, select whether you expect your enterprise’s consumption of these energy type(s) to decrease or increase as a result of implementing the proposed project. Input the estimated change in future annual energy use as a result of your project, assuming your future energy consumption would have remained the same as in 2018. Do not include future estimated changes to energy consumption as result of other changes in your enterprise (e.g. increase/decrease in production). See examples below for further guidance on completing the outcomes table.
Example 1 - Energy Efficiency
A business wants to change its halogen lighting to more energy efficient lighting.
|Type of energy||2018 annual energy consumption
||Energy unit||Energy consumption (decrease/increase)||Estimated change in annual energy consumption|
|Electricity||100,000 (KWh)||Kilowatt-hours (KWh)||Decrease||50,000 KWh|
Example 2 - Fuel Switching
A business is fuel switching from coal-fired electricity to natural gas.
|Type of energy||2018 annual energy consumption
||Energy unit||Energy consumption (decrease/increase)||Estimated change in annual energy consumption|
Example 3 - Energy Production
A business is installing solar panels to produce its own electricity.
|Type of energy||2018 annual energy consumption
||Energy unit||Energy consumption (decrease/increase)||Estimated change in annual energy consumption|
4.2 Anticipated average annual cost savings: provide a general estimate of the total annual operational cost savings you expect to achieve as a result of your project.
- The cost savings estimate should only reflect reductions in operational, fuel and utility costs of energy (e.g., electricity, gasoline) and should not include capital expenditures or savings, depreciation or other Return on Investment (ROI) considerations.
- Use current pricing/cost data for the baseline. Do not include speculative energy price increases over time (e.g., inflation, speculative changes to fuel or carbon prices) in the cost savings calculation.
- The cost savings estimate should not include tax or interest.
- Where cost savings are anticipated over a long period of time (e.g., 30 years) or far in the future, estimate average annual cost savings in current dollars.
- The cost savings estimate should not include the amount of CAIF funding (if successful).
4.3 Provide further details on how the average annual cost savings were calculated, including assumptions and considerations.
Section 5 – Project Costs
5.1 Project expenditures: indicate the total cost of the project over the duration of the project and total eligible expenditures of the project. Consult sections 6.2 and 6.3 of the Guide for more information on how to determine the total eligible expenditures of your proposed project.
5.2 Sources of funding: indicate the amount of funding requested from the SME Project stream and the amounts provided from all other sources. Describe each source of funding and its status and timing.
Section 6 – Project Milestones
Project milestones: select project milestones that apply to your project and/or specify “other” with a brief description for each, the due date and the associated eligible expenditures (in dollars). Note that the total amount should match the amount you had indicated under “Total eligible expenditures of the project” in sub-section 4.1 Project Expenditures.
Section 7 – Risks and Mitigation Strategies
Risk type: use the drop down menu to select risk type: technical, scope, budget, timeline, or capacity. If none apply, specify by selecting “other”.
Risk level: determine the risk level based on the probability of the risk occurring and its potential impact on the project.
- Low – low likelihood and low impact; low likelihood and medium impact; medium likelihood low impact
- Medium – medium likelihood and medium likelihood; low likelihood and high impact; high likelihood and low impact
- High – high likelihood and high impact; medium likelihood and high impact; high likelihood and medium impact
Risk description (maximum 250 characters): provide a brief description of the potential risk and how it may impact the project.
Mitigation Strategy (maximum 500 characters): describe the strategy for mitigating each risk, including key actions and anticipated result of these actions.
Section 8– Environmental Assessment and Indigenous Engagement
8.1 Consultation with Indigenous Peoples: indicate whether your project will be located near a First Nation, Inuit or Metis community, or within a settled land claim area. If yes, provide additional details on the Indigenous community or land claim area. If you are not sure, select “I don’t know” in the dropdown menu.
8.2 Environmental assessment: indicate whether you anticipate your project will require an environmental assessment under federal or provincial regulations. If yes, provide details on your plan to meet the environmental assessment requirements. If you are not sure, select “I don’t know” in the dropdown menu.
Section 9 – Feedback
9.1 Time spent on application: indicate approximately how much time you spent completing the application form.
9.2 Clarity of application: indicate to what extent you agree with this statement “this application tool is clear, user-friendly, and relevant to this process”.
9.3 Suggestions for improvement (maximum of 3,000 characters): provide any suggestions or comments on how this form or process can be improved (optional).
9.4 Feedback on eligible categories: indicate any other eligible categories you would like to see in future rounds of this program.
Section 10 – Application Certification
Application certification: read and complete the application certification carefully prior to submitting your application.
Annex B: glossary
- Applicant – Incorporated enterprise completing and submitting an application.
- Alternative fuel infrastructure - Refers to supporting vehicle infrastructure, such as fueling stations and specialized support that are needed to run alternatively fueled vehicles.
- Eligible expenditure – A project cost that meets the criteria of federal assistance, described in the program terms and conditions.
- Funding Agreement - A written agreement between the Government of Canada and a recipient governing the terms and conditions associated with a federal contribution.
- Greenhouse gases (GHGs) - Refers to the seven gases covered under reporting guidelines by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that contribute to the greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O ), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
- Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs) - Based on the definition contained in the Heavy duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations, HDVs are defined as having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), in excess of 3,856 kg, a curb weight of more than 2 722 kg (6,000 lbs) or a basic vehicle frontal area in excess of 4.2 m2 (45 ft2).
- Own-use - Refers to energy or fuel that is produced and used within an organization’s own operations. To be considered as “own-use”, the entity using the energy must also have majority ownership in the energy production asset(s). For electricity generation projects to qualify as “own-use”, electricity consumption must occur at the same site as electricity generation. A project can also qualify as “own-use” if it is connected onto a distribution system, as long as the majority of the energy produced (i.e. more than 50%) on an annual basis is for “own-use”. In some cases, the energy provider requires any electricity that is generated to be provided to the grid which can then be repurchased by the organization. If more than 50% of the electricity is repurchased back from the electricity provider and used at the same site as where the electricity was generated, this would also be considered as “own-use”.
- Proposal/Application – Refers to the Application that is being submitted to the CAIF SME Project stream
- Project - A project with a specific site and address (e.g. a retrofit that includes multiple activities in one building would be a project unto itself).
- Project activity - Major elements, or actions, within each project which will result in energy use reductions, cost-savings, or GHG emission reductions (e.g. a retrofit project with three activities: adding insulation, window replacements, and HVAC replacement)
- Project category - The classification subject(s) of a project (e.g. building energy efficiency retrofits, transportation retrofits, industrial retrofits, agricultural retrofits, waste).
- Small-sized enterprise – An incorporated for-profit entity that has 1 to 99 employees.
- Medium-sized enterprise – An incorporated for-profit entity that has 100 to 499 employees.
- Milestone - An action or event marking project progress. Milestones are typically used in project planning, scheduling, communication and reporting. Below is list of example milestones:
- Completion of project design and planning milestone
- Completion of decommissioning and disposal of old equipment,
- Commencement or completion of supplies and material procurement
- Commencement or completion of installation of new equipment
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