Low Carbon Economy Challenge

Introduction

The Low Carbon Economy Challenge is part of the Low Carbon Economy Fund. It will leverage Canadian ingenuity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate clean growth in support of Canada’s clean growth and climate action plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Challenge is broken into two streams:

Champions stream
The $450 million Champions stream will provide funding to all eligible applicants (provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses and not-for-profit organizations.) The Champions stream is now open for applications, with a deadline of May 14, 2018
Partnerships stream
The $50M Partnerships stream is limited to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations and small municipalities. This stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the Challenge. The Partnerships stream will be open for applications later in 2018

Potential applicants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to Environment and Climate Change Canada. If a project is eligible for the two streams, applicants are encouraged to apply to each of them. Each stream will have a separate selection process.

Proposals will be reviewed. Applicants with the most promising project ideas will be invited to submit a formal proposal. Those proposals will undergo a thorough review by Government of Canada officials. Successful projects will be selected based primarily on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The evaluation will also consider a project’s potential contribution to clean growth, energy savings and job creation

How to apply for funding

Low Carbon Economy Challenge application process infographic

For each stream there is a two-step application process.

  1. Expression of Interest

    Applicants need to submit an initial Expression of Interest (EOI) using the online application tool. The EOI will be used to screen projects for eligibility based on the program parameters described in the Applicant Guide (see below). Projects may also be screened out due to concerns around cost-effectiveness (for example, high costs per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved) and/or significant concerns about project feasibility and risk.
  2. Formal Proposal

    Successful applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed Formal Proposal. Environment and Climate Change Canada will undertake a complete review and assessment of the Formal Proposal, including project work plan, costing, and projected greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Applicant guide

The Low Carbon Economy Challenge Applicant Guide provides details on the eligibility criteria for the challenge and the process for submitting the Expression of Interest. Applicants must review the Applicant Guide before submitting their Expression of Interest. Applicants that have been selected to submit a Formal Proposal will be provided with the specific guidance and application forms at that time.

Frequently asked questions

The Frequently Asked Questions section will be updated on a regular basis.

Can provinces that have not adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change apply for funding through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge?

Yes, all provinces and territories, as well as municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations located in those provinces will be eligible to apply for funding.

How will projects be selected to receive funding through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge?

Potential applicants will be invited to submit an expression of interest to Environment and Climate Change Canada. These expressions of interest will be reviewed, and applicants with the most promising projects ideas will be invited to submit a formal proposal. The best projects will be those that prioritize low-cost domestic greenhouse gas reductions while also encouraging other benefits that contribute to clean growth by reducing emissions, saving energy, and creating jobs. Criteria for assessing proposals will include:

  • Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions reduced per dollar of federal funding
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced in 2030 per dollar of federal funding
  • Project feasibility and risk
  • Other benefits that contribute to clean growth and a clean environment

Emission reductions must also be:

  • material (measurable and verifiable)
  • complementary to existing actions
  • in-line with Canada’s 2030 climate target
  • cost-effective
What are the two opportunities to apply for funding, and how do they differ?

Champions: Valued at over $450 million, the Champions stream will provide funding to all eligible applicants—provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.

Partnerships: Valued at $50 million, the Partnerships stream will be available to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities. This stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the Challenge.

Can applicants apply to both the Champions and the Partnerships streams?

Yes. Applicants who are eligible for the Partnerships stream can maximize their chance of success by also applying to the Champions stream with the same project.

Can an applicant who is eligible for both the Champions and Partnerships streams apply to each stream with a different project?

Yes. Applicants can apply with different projects to each stream or with the same project for each stream.

Can an applicant receive funding from both the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund and the Low Carbon Economy Challenge?

No. Projects that were funded through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund cannot receive additional funding through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge.

How much is the Government of Canada going to contribute to individual projects?

The minimum federal contribution to any project funded through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge is $1 million. The maximum contribution to any project funded through the Champions stream will be $50 million, while the maximum contribution to a project funded through the Partnerships stream will be $10 million.

Additionally, the maximum percentage of total project costs the federal government can contribute toward a project varies depending on the recipient of the funding. The maximum federal share for specific recipients is as follows:

  • 25 percent for businesses
  • 40 percent for municipalities
  • 40 percent for not-for-profit organizations
  • 50 percent for provincial governments
  • 75 percent for territorial governments
  • 75 percent for Indigenous communities and organizations

It is important to note that this program will fund the best projects and most cost-effective projects that reduce as many greenhouse gas emissions as possible. In other words, the smaller the federal contribution, the greater the chance a project has of being selected.

When must applications be submitted?

Completed expressions of interest for the Champions stream must be submitted by May 14, 2018. Applicants are welcome to submit their expression of interest at any time between now and the deadline. The Partnerships stream will be open for applications later in 2018. Potential applicants for the Partnerships stream can choose to also submit the same project for the Champions stream.

How will the project selection process differ from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund?

Funding provided through the Leadership Fund was allocated to each province and territory using a formula that included a base allocation and per-capita allocation for each jurisdiction. For the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, funding will be allocated based only on the quality of proposals received. Criteria for assessing proposals will include:

  • Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions reduced per dollar of funding
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced in 2030 per dollar of funding
  • Project feasibility and risk
  • Other benefits that contribute to clean growth and a clean environment
How can Indigenous Peoples benefit from the Low Carbon Economy Challenge?

Indigenous communities and organizations will be able to apply directly for funding through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, for example, to support projects that reduce reliance on diesel and deploy energy-efficient technologies in homes and businesses. Additionally, Indigenous communities and organizations are eligible applicants for funding through the Partnerships stream of the Low Carbon Economy Challenge.

Which sectors are eligible?

Eligible sectors include building retrofits, industrial energy efficiency, fuel switching and process changes, forestry, agriculture, waste, transportation retrofits, and energy production for own use.

For further information and application details, please consult the application guide.

Key dates

  • March 14, 2018: Champions stream open for Expressions of Interest
  • May 14, 2018: deadline for Champions Expressions of Interest
  • Early summer 2018: Champions stream invitation to submit formal proposal
  • Late summer 2018: deadline for formal proposal
  • Fall 2018 to winter 2019: final funding decisions
  • Later in 2018: launch of Partnerships stream
  • March 31, 2022: deadline for spending federal funding

Challenge roadshow 2018

Environment and Climate Change Canada staff, as well as officials from Natural Resources Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Clean Growth Hub and other federal organizations, will be travelling across Canada to hold information sessions. These sessions will be open to potential applicants (e.g., provinces, territories, municipalities, businesses, Indigenous communities or organizations, and not-for-profit organizations) in order to clarify the application and selection processes and answer questions related to the Challenge and other funding programs. These sessions are closed to the media.

The slides from the Challenge information sessions are now available in the form of a pre-recorded webinar:

Time and locations of the information sessions

City Date Venue Time
Victoria, BC March 19 St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt Street 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Vancouver, BC March 20 Wosk Conference Centre, 580 W. Hastings Street 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Iqaluit, NU March 21 Frobisher Inn, 505 Astro Hill 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Edmonton, AB March 22 Edmonton Federal Building, 9820 107 Street 8:30 am to 11:30 am
Moncton, NB March 22 Delta Beausejour, 750 Main Street 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Calgary, AB March 23 Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditoria , 1415 14 Ave NW 8:30 am to 11:30 am
Charlottetown, PE March 23 Delta Prince Edward, 18 Queen St 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Toronto, ON March 26 Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, 525 Bay St 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Montreal, QC March 27 Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, 1201 René-Lévesque Blvd W 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Halifax, NS March 27 Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, 1919 Upper Water St 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Ottawa, ON March 28 Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
St. John's, NL March 28 Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, 115 Cavendish Square 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Regina, SK April 3 Delta Hotels Regina, 1919 Saskatchewan Dr 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Winnipeg, MB April 5 Delta Hotels Winnipeg, 350 St Mary Ave 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Saskatoon, SK April 6 Delta Bessborough Hotel, 601 Spadina Cres 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Whitehorse, YT April 10 Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, 1171 Front Street 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Yellowknife, NT April 12 The Explorer Hotel, 4825 49th Avenue 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Quebec City, QC April 17 Delta Hotels Quebec, 690 Boul René Lévesque East 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Contact

To attend one of the information sessions, please contact us at ec.lcef-fefec.ec@canada.ca. Include your name, organization and the date and location of the information session you wish to attend.

At this time we are not taking meetings with potential individual applicants. As our information sessions are drawing to a close, we appreciate that there may be additional requests for clarification as applications are developed. For further information and clarification, we urge you to do the following:

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