In June and July of 2017 the Canadian Manufacturing Exporters (CME), in partnership with the Government of Ontario launched a $25 million fund known as CME SMART Green Program. The Fund was designed to assist eligible small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) manufacturers to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve their overall energy efficiency. To become eligible for this fund, the following are key deciding factors:
- Minimum of 10 full-time employees;
- Annual GHG emissions under 25,000 tonnes per year;
- Not participating in Ontario’s Cap & Trade Program
You should really take a closer look at the CME Smart Green program for the following reasons:
a) Changes that you make to increase your energy efficiency, or to reduce your energy consumption may qualify for an incentive of up to $500,000 or 50% of project costs.
b) Along with your operational savings, you will also help Canada meet its 2020 goal of reducing GHG emissions by 15% (from 2005 emission levels).
c) Whether you use the CME Fund to replace equipment that is end of its lifecycle with newer, more energy efficient ones–or to go after that Solar project that you always loved but the ROI wasn’t just quite there– this program funding can dramatically increase your return on investment.
d) Your new facility changes can make you more competitive due to lower operating costs, and better positioned for future expansion as market conditions change.
What Have I Learned So Far?
I have been actively involved with assisting clients successfully obtain 30% of the allocated funding for this program to date; and based on current work in progress we anticipate to submit applications for an additional $4,750,000 before yearend. As a result, I have been able to identify a few trends as the program continues and matures. Some of the main “takeaways” I have found are as follows:
Many organizations that think are not eligible are indeed eligible
We know that the program seeks to assist manufacturers in Ontario, but this is not strictly limited to traditional or advanced manufacturing. As long as you are taking one product and turning it into another, you have a case to put forward for your qualification. For example, you can think of a dairy business that turns milk into cheese or a meat packer that turns raw product into sausage.
CME SMART offers excellent funding for walk-through assessments
Compared to many other grant and funding programs available in the market today, the walk-through assessments are a very forward-thinking practice. The CME Smart Green program has realized that many organizations want to reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions, but do not know where to start. As a result, there is funding available for a program-approved engineering firm to conduct a half day walk-through audit to determine eligible projects and offer recommendations on those that are best fit for your business.
In my experience, this has been a remarkable success. With the exception of one potential client, every walk-through review that I have helped set up has resulted in the project’s successful eligibility for funding and client’s decision to move forward with the implementation.
Trends in project that move toward implementation
Overall, the trends that we have seen for projects that are approved seem to be at very different ends of the spectrum. For example, we have witnessed many projects that clients have used to replace their end-of-life cycle equipment. The equipment were more efficient units such as new boilers, make-up air units, presses, heat recovery, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, we have seen clients undertaking projects that help them insulate from periodic rate volatility in the electricity market. To hedge against anticipated rate fluctuations, we have witnessed significant interest in electricity generation through alternative methods such as solar.
Predictions on Funding
What makes CME SMART Green Fund excellent is its inclusive nature, forward thinking, and ability to meet its objectives. Due to its success and popularity, I anticipate that its allocated $25 million will be exhausted soon. We know that most SME manufactures are already swamped with the daily demands of running a business. They have already allocated their in-house resources for their most efficient use.
We can assist you in applying for and securing funds without the need to shift your existing resources to other means. We ensure your application meets program requirements prior to submission throughout the verification process.
Before you apply for CME SMART Green Program, contact us to learn about your eligibility and the application process: