Conservation for Public Agencies

Ontario’s updated Long-Term Energy Plan, Achieving Balance, encourages conservation and lays out a plan for clean, reliable and affordable energy. As the province plans for Ontario’s energy needs for the next 20 years, conservation will be the first resource considered. Conservation is a key part of our collective effort to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is also the province’s most cost-effective energy resource, and it offers consumers a way to reduce their electricity bills. The lease expensive type of energy is the energy we don’t use.

Ontario’s Regulation for Public Agencies

A regulation came into force January 1, 2012 that requires public agencies, starting in July 1, 2013, to report annually to the Ministry of Energy (ENERGY) on their energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and publish the reports on their websites. In addition, starting July 1, 2014, public agencies need to develop a five-year conservation plan and publish the plan on their websites. Plans must be updated every five years beginning in 2019.

Public agencies must make their annual energy reports and five-year energy CDM plans publically available on their websites and in hard copy.

See energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for the Broader Public Sector data.

Who is affected by this?

The regulation affects public agencies:

  • municipalities
  • municipal service boards (for water/sewage pumping and treatment operations)
  • universities
  • colleges
  • school boards
  • hospitals.

What are the benefits?

Public agencies play an important role in helping Ontario meet its ambitious conservation targets and reduce GHG emissions.

    Energy reporting and conservation planning will help public agencies:

  • manage electricity use and costs
  • identify best practices and energy-saving opportunities
  • evaluate results by comparing to similar facilities across the province
  • assist in setting goals by providing a benchmark
  • measure improvement over time.

Energy reporting will also inform the Ontario government about energy use in the broader public sector. The information will help Ontario to develop and enhance policies and programs in the future.

How do public agencies report?

Public agencies must log in to the web portal to access the electronic reporting template. This template will automatically calculate GHG emissions based on the reported energy and fuel use. Public agencies submit their completed template on the reporting portal.

All affected public agencies should receive an email from the Ministry of Energy in April 2014 with login instructions and a new password for the reporting portal. If your agency has not received this email by May 2014, please contact us at

What resources are available to help with reporting?

Log in to the web portal to find additional resources:

  • a guide to completing the template
  • calculation tools within the Excel template
  • tips and FAQs.

There will also be a series of webinars for each sector to explain reporting requirements and how to use the electronic reporting template. Public agencies will also have a chance to ask questions. Dates to be announced in Spring 2014.

For more information, contact us at

What is an energy conservation and demand management (CDM) plan?

Energy CDM plans provide information about how the public agency will conserve energy, and should include the public agency’s energy consumption and GHG emissions report. Public agencies will need to post five-year energy CDM plans starting in 2014. Plans must be updated every five years beginning in 2019.

    These plans should outline:

  • conservation goals and objectives
  • proposed conservation measures
  • estimated costs and benefits
  • any renewable energy installations.

Where can I find out more about conservation programs in Ontario?

There are currently several conservation, demand management and renewable energy programs that can benefit public agencies.

  • Ontario is supporting local energy planning by introducing the Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) program. The MEP program is designed to help municipalities better understand their local energy needs and conservation opportunities, set goals and develop implementation plans. Learn more about Ontario’s Municipal Energy Plan Program.
  • The Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) saveONenergy programs are available for institutional energy consumers. They support activities such as new energy-efficient building design, energy audits and retrofits. Local utilities run these programs. Find out more on IESO’s website.
  • Infrastructure Ontario (IO) offers long-term low interest loans to public agencies to support energy efficiency. For more information and details on eligibility, please visit IO’s website.
  • Gas utilities offer programs that support energy conservation. For example, they provide funding for more efficient boilers, heat recovery systems, variable speed motors and steam trap audits. Check your gas utility’s website for more information:
  • For more information on other programs available to public agencies, please visit our Incentives for Business page.