Low Carbon Economy Challenge

Introduction

The Low Carbon Economy Challenge is part of the Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF). It leverages Canadian ingenuity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and generate clean growth in support of Canada’s clean growth and climate action plans by providing approximately $500 million to a wide range of recipients.

The Challenge is divided into two streams: the Champions stream and the Partnerships stream. See past intakes for details of the two streams.

The application details outlined below pertain to the 2022 intake of the Champions stream. The Expression of Interest process for this intake closed on March 25, 2022.

Available funding

The Champions stream second intake will provide over $200 million in funding for GHG emission-reducing projects.

Applicants were able to request between $1 million and $25 million in funding for eligible project expenditures, with cost-share ranging from 25% to 75% of total project costs depending on the recipient type.

The maximum federal share for specific recipients is as follows:

  • 25% for for-profit private sector businesses
  • 40% for regional/local/municipal governments
  • 40% for not-for-profit organizations
  • 50% for provincial governments/bodies/boards
  • 75% for territorial governments/bodies/boards
  • 75% for Indigenous communities and organizations

Application period

The Expression of Interest process for the Champions stream closed on March 25, 2022. Thank you to all applicants. Applicants will be informed of the decision regarding project eligibility within 30 business days of the closure of the Expression of Interest intake period. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a Formal Proposal.

Key dates

  • January 27, 2022: Open for Expressions of Interest
  • March 25, 2022: Deadline for Expressions of Interest
  • May 2022: Invitation to submit Formal Proposal (or notification of ineligibility)
  • Fall 2022: Final funding decisions
  • Project completion: No later than March 2025

Eligible recipients

The Champions stream is open to a wide range of applicants, including:

  • provincial governments, bodies or boards
  • territorial governments, bodies or boards
  • regional/local/municipal governments
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit government, communities or organizations
  • public sector bodies or boards
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • private sector for-profit small, medium and large businesses

Project eligibility requirements

To be considered eligible, a project must result in reductions in GHG emissions in 2030 and over the lifetime of the project.

These reductions must be:

  • to sources of emissions controlled by the applicant or project partner (direct) and/or to grid electricity emissions (acquired)
  • beyond what is required by existing regulations, standards, or codes and ongoing work by project proponents (incremental)
  • directly and immediately the result of activities funded by the program.

Projects must also meet other eligibility criteria, as follows:

  • capacity to make use of commercially available technology
  • confirmation of project location
  • production of electricity or fuel must be primarily for own use, within the applicant’s or identified partner’s operations (except for projects located in rural or remote communities or for district energy or industrial combined heat-and-power).

For more information on the requirements, consult the Frequently asked questions and the Expression of Interest Guide.

Ineligible projects

Project types that explore possible methods of reducing GHG emissions but do not implement them are not eligible, including:

  • research, development, and demonstration projects
  • educational or capacity-building projects
  • feasibility or other pre-engineering studies

The following activity types within a project are ineligible regardless of whether they meet the other program criteria.

  • Active transport (e.g. biking or pedestrian infrastructure)
  • Construction of new buildings (wherein GHG emissions reductions are obtained relative to a hypothetical alternative new building)
  • District energy systems for new constructions
  • Electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure
  • Enhancing carbon sinks (e.g., carbon sequestration in forests or soils)
  • Fuel transportation infrastructure
  • Light emitting diode (LED) lighting retrofits
  • Public transit infrastructure and vehicles
  • Purchase of new vehicles
  • Reductions based solely on behavioural change
  • Reductions based solely on products manufactured or sold by the applicant for market consumption (i.e. where GHG emissions reductions can only be realized upon purchase, installation and/or use of the product by an unidentified third party)
  • Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) and ZEV infrastructure

Ineligible projects or those eligible but not selected for funding under the Challenge stream can consider other funding opportunities through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, the Our environment portal, the Clean Growth Hub, and the Innovation Canada page.

How to apply

This intake has a two-stage application process:

  1. submission of an Expression of Interest to screen projects for eligibility
  2. submission of a Formal Proposal to evaluate projects for merit.

The Expression of Interest process closed on March 25, 2022. Applicants will be informed of the decision regarding project eligibility within 30 business days of the closure of the Expression of Interest intake period. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a Formal Proposal.

Frequently asked questions

Questions and answers in the Frequently Asked Questions were last updated on January 27, 2022.

Past intakes

Champions stream

The Champions stream provides approximately $450 million in funding to eligible applicants, specifically:

  • provinces and territories
  • municipalities
  • Indigenous communities and organizations
  • businesses
  • not-for-profit organizations

Intake 1: This intake closed on September 28, 2018.

Partnerships stream

The Partnerships stream provides up to $50 million in funding to eligible applicants, specifically:

  • Indigenous communities and organizations
  • small and medium-sized businesses
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • small municipalities

Intake 1: This intake closed on March 8, 2019.

Intake 2: This intake closed on November 15, 2019.

Projects jointly announced under all streams of the Low Carbon Economy Fund can be found in the News Releases section. To discover more climate action success initiatives, consult the Climate Action Map and social media platforms to learn about the latest announcements.

Contact

For general enquiries, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and the Expression of Interest Guide.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you encounter any technical issues related to website functionality and access, please contact the program advisors at lcef-fefec@ec.gc.ca. Include your name, contact information, and the organization you are representing.

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