Ontario’s Municipal Energy Plan Program

Ontario is supporting local energy planning through the Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) program. Launched in 2013, the MEP program supports municipalities’ efforts to better understand their local energy needs, identify opportunities for energy efficiency and clean energy, and develop plans to meet their goals.

A MEP takes an integrated approach to energy planning by aligning energy, infrastructure and land use planning. MEPs will help municipalities:

  • Assess the community’s energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Identify opportunities to conserve, improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions
  • Consider impact of future growth and options for local clean energy generation
  • Support local economic development.

Funding Stream to Develop a New Municipal Energy Plan

The MEP Program provides successful applicants with funding for 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $90,000 to develop a municipal energy plan. Successful MEP program recipients from the first round of applications include: Municipality of Chatham-Kent, City of Kingston, Town of Markham, Town of Newmarket, City of Temiskaming Shores, City of Vaughan, Municipality of Wawa and City of Woodstock.

New Funding Stream to Enhance an Existing Energy Plan

The ministry is introducing a second funding stream for municipalities that have already developed a complete or partial Municipal Energy Plan, Climate Action Plan or other energy plan. This funding is for enhancing an existing energy plan, such as updating utility or building data and/or creating new implementation plans or maps. Successful applicants to this stream will receive 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $25,000.

How to apply

The ministry will accept applications for both MEP streams on an ongoing basis. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Please note the MEP Program has a limited funding allocation. Successful applications will be funded on a first come, first served basis.

Municipal Energy Plan – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Municipal Energy Plan?

A Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) supports municipalities’ efforts to better understand their local energy needs, identify opportunities for energy efficiency and clean energy, and develop plans to meet their goals. A MEP takes an integrated approach to energy planning by aligning energy, infrastructure and land use planning. MEPs will help municipalities:

  • Assess the community’s energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Identify opportunities for conserving energy, improving energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions
  • Consider impact of future growth and options for local clean energy generation
  • Support local economic development.

Are Municipal Energy Plans mandatory?

No, municipal energy plans are voluntary.

What is the Municipal Energy Plan Program?

The Municipal Energy Plan Program (“MEP Program”) is designed to help municipalities better understand their local energy needs and opportunities, set goals and develop implementation plans. The MEP Program has two funding streams:

  1. Funding Stream to Develop a New Municipal Energy Plan: This stream provides successful applicants with funding for 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $90,000 to develop a municipal energy plan.
  2. New Funding Stream to Enhance an Existing Energy Plan: The ministry is introducing a second funding stream for municipalities that have already developed a complete or partial Municipal Energy Plan, Climate Action Plan or other energy plan. This funding is for enhancing an existing energy plan, such as updating utility or structure data and/or creating new implementation plans or maps. Successful applicants to this stream will receive 50 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $25,000.

Successful applicants will be expected develop their Municipal Energy Plans in three stages:

  • Seek input from stakeholders
  • Collect and analyze information about energy use in all sectors
  • Create a Plan and have it approved by Municipal Council.

For more information about these stages, please see Section 4 of the Program Guidelines.

How can my municipality apply? When is the application deadline?

Download Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) Program application forms and guidelines

The ministry will accept applications for both MEP streams on an ongoing basis. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Please note the MEP Program has a limited funding allocation. Successful applications will be funded on a first come, first served basis.

Applications must be received in hard copy by mail. Applications submitted by fax or email will not be considered. For details, please refer to Section 8 of the Program Guidelines.

Please submit your complete application by mail or courier to:

Municipal Energy Plan Program
Conservation and Energy Efficiency Branch
Ministry of Energy
77 Grenville Street, 5th Floor
Toronto Ontario M5S 1B1

Who is eligible to apply to the MEP Program?

The MEP Program is available to all Ontario municipalities, including regional municipalities.

Why does my municipality need to complete a stakeholder consultation process?

Stakeholder consultation is essential to the success of a MEP. Consultations start a dialogue between the community, local government and local utilities by allowing municipalities to

  • consider a broad range of options
  • build awareness of energy efficiency and conservation benefits
  • develop cohesive goals for the community

How will applications be evaluated?

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis. In some instances, applications that meet all program criteria and objectives may not be approved for funding, as there may be other projects that meet the MEP Program criteria and objectives more effectively.

The MEP Program will strive to support municipalities across the province. Evaluation criteria and application requirements are outlined in Section 7 and 8 of the Program Guidelines.

Can my community hire a consultant to do the work required for the MEP program?

Yes, your community may hire a consultant to do the work required for the MEP program. The procurement process must be fair and transparent.

How much time does my municipality have to complete the Program?

Once the ministry has accepted your MEP application and a Transfer Payment Funding Contract has been signed with the Ministry of Energy, the community will have two years to complete all three phases of the MEP Program and submit its final report.

Please refer to Appendix A and B in the Program Guidelines for detailed information about the milestone and reporting timelines for each phase.

If my municipality applied for the MEP program, can it also apply for other funds and grants to develop a Municipal Energy Plan?

Yes, your community may use other funds to pay for costs that may not be covered by the program. However, the MEP Program will not provide funding for costs that have already been covered by other sources. Applicants are expected to be transparent and state all funding sources in their budget report during the application process. Failure to comply may require the municipality to return the MEP Program funds.

Can in-kind contributions from the municipality be considered as part of the Municipal 50% contribution to a MEP?

Yes, salaries for existing municipal staff working on the project may be donated in-kind to a maximum of twenty percent of the total project costs.

Who can I contact for more information about the MEP program?

If you have any questions about the MEP Program, please email MEP@ontario.ca.