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Financial assistance for commercial and institutional buildings

The call for proposals for the Natural Resources Canada ISO 50001 program for commercial and institutional buildings will open in Fall 2022.

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 in 2021-22

To help implement ISO 50001 in commercial and institutional buildings in 2021-22, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provides financial assistance up to 60% of eligible costs for for-profit organizations and up to 75% of eligible costs for not-for-profit organizations to a maximum of $40,000 per facility.

The maximum contribution to an organization or group of affiliates 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.

Eligible ISO 50001 projects

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

  • Feasibility Study
  • Feasibility Study with Action Commitment
  • ISO 50001 Compliance
  • ISO 50001 Certification

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 for NRCan’s financial assistance for ISO 50001 implementation projects in commercial and institutional buildings, you must register your facilities with the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool.

Eligible costs

  • salaries of internal employees for work specific to the energy management system (EnMS)
  • professional, scientific and technical fees specific to the EnMS
  • fees for data collection, benchmarking, monitoring and analysis services
  • purchase of instrumentation software and metering equipment (other capital costs are ineligible)
  • fees associated with obtaining ISO 50001 certification (re-certification or fees associated with re-certification are ineligible)
  • fees associated with training on the EnMS

Ineligible costs

  • fees for tasks started before NRCan’s approval and execution of a Contribution Agreement
  • energy retrofits
  • purchase and installation of equipment and systems (with the exception of the purchase of instrumentation software and metering equipment)
  • capital projects
  • ISO 50001 re-certification or fees associated with re-certification

Evaluation Process 

Each application is evaluated with a set of merit-based criteria. The criteria include 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 your company to outline how to proceed. Approved projects will be offered financing until all funds have been committed.

How to apply

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

Steps to Apply
  1. Email NRCan to request a project proposal template.
  2. Write your proposal following the instructions in the template.
  3. Submit your proposal to NRCan for review and acceptance before you begin your project.
Application Process
  1. Notification of the review of completeness is sent to you within seven business days.
  2. NRCan will make every effort to send you a decision letter by November 30. 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 templates for reporting.
  3. As described in the contribution agreement, you will submit reports and financial claims. A program officer will provide guidance, review the reports and process the claims.

Natural Resources Canada ISO 50001 Webinar


  • A webinar with details about the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard program is available now.

For access to the recording, email

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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