An update to the CME SMART Green Fund has generated new excitement from Ontario manufacturers interested in reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The program has recently announced enhancements to the amount of funding manufacturers may qualify for as they assess and implement GHG reduction projects. These changes have provided even greater incentive for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Manufacturers may now receive up to $500,000 per facility to a maximum $1.5M for upgrades to up to five facilities. Each project requires a GHG assessment, which can receive grant coverage from 50-100% up to $15,000-$30,000.

CME SMART Green’s enhancements will benefit manufacturers who have strong manufacturing efficiency projects to deploy, but might’ve had difficulty making a facility expansion project fit under the past funding contributions. The program also allows for companies to perform detailed technical assessments internally (as opposed to requiring a Qualified Technical Service Provider) if staff are qualified to perform baseline measurements.

Companies should prepare applications for the CME SMART Green Fund well in advance of the project’s start date, as funding will only cover future costs after an applicant’s proposal is approved. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2018.

CME SMART Green Fund for Ontario Manufacturing Productivity Projects

The CME SMART Green Fund offers manufacturing grants to offset up to $500,000 of costs associated with manufacturing productivity projects. There are multiple streams of funding which applicants may use, including:

  1. Walk-Through Assessments: One-time payment will be issued for a reimbursement of up to $2,500 for a Qualified Technical Service Provider (QTSP) to identify potential GHG reduction or energy efficiency projects.
  2. Detailed Technical Assessments: 50% of eligible costs at time of completion will be issued. The balance of payment (if the initial payment did not exceed $15,000) will be released at the approval of a project application that resulted from the detailed assessment.
  3. Detailed Technical Assessments Requiring Gas Metering: Follow the same process as detailed technical assessments, only the assessment value is capped at $30,000.
  4. Capital Investment Projects: Offer up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $500,000 per facility. Multiple facilities (or affiliated companies) are eligible to receive funding for maximum of five facilities, however combined funding for projects cannot exceed $1.5 million.

Please Note: Detailed technical assessments no longer have to be completed by a third-party consultant if the applicant has an in-house engineer or energy manager who can provide the reporting requirements set out by CME.

Is Your Business and Project Eligible for CME SMART Green Funding?

Those interested in applying for CME SMART Green funding should first ensure they meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

Business Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for CME SMART Green grants, applicants must:

  • Be an Ontario manufacturer;
  • Produce less than 25,000 tonnes of GHG annually;
  • Not be participating in the Ontario Cap & Trade Program;
  • Have at least 10 employees per faciity; and
  • Be incorporated and operating for at least 3 years.

Types of Projects Considered for CME SMART Green Funding

Likewise, to develop a competitive funding application, projects should:

  • Directly reduce or avoid GHG emissions and/or intensity related to the production process;
  • Improve processes or enhance production;
  • Deliver energy efficiency; and
  • Result in lower GHG emissions per-unit produced.

Eligible project types could include:

  • Advanced Boiler Controls;
  • Air Compressor Heat Recovery;
  • Biogas Boilers;
  • Blowdown Heat Recovery;
  • Building Improvements (eg. Lighting Retrofit);
  • Combustion Air Preheat;
  • Compressed Air Upgrades;
  • Condensate Return/Condensing Economizers;
  • Condensing Boilers;
  • Direct Contact Water Heaters;
  • Energy Efficient Motors;
  • Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery;
  • Feedwater Economizers;
  • High Efficiency Burners;
  • High Efficiency Heating Units;
  • Improvements leading to reduced energy intensity;
  • Optimization and Heat Recovery;
  • Refrigeration Heat Recovery;
  • Right Sizing and Load Management;
  • Solar Installation; and
  • Ventilation.

Apply for the CME SMART Green Fund

To apply for the CME SMART Green Fund, eligible manufacturers must complete an online application package that details the company’s project and management team. This online application can be accessed online via CME’s website.

Businesses must make a strong case for how the project will result in sustainable benefits, and must also state how receiving manufacturing grants will improve the project.

This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.