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New partnership will support conservation demand management in Ontario public sector: Innovation in building management at the forefront of IO-IESO agreement

January 19, 2017

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) have struck a strategic, five-year partnership to test innovative processes, technologies and program delivery models to accelerate the adoption of conservation and demand management (CDM) solutions by Ontario’s broader public sector.

Through this agreement, the IESO will support the testing of new CDM projects across IO’s diverse portfolio. IO’s portfolio features approximately 4,000 buildings and structures across the province that support a wide-range of ministry programs. This includes multi-ministry office buildings, courthouses and correctional facilities.

Selected projects will focus on areas including energy efficiency, operational performance and opportunities to work toward “net zero” buildings, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.

By creating a safe, controlled environment in which new conservation technologies and solutions can be tested, this partnership is expected to reduce some of the existing barriers to widespread implementation and encourage uptake by the broader public sector and potentially the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

Quick Facts:

  • The IESO’s Conservation Fund will allocate up to $10 million to support approved IO projects.
  • Support from the IESO’s Conservation Fund will cover a maximum of 75 per cent of eligible project costs.
  • Individual projects will be identified throughout 2017 and will be executed by the end of 2020. Under the terms of this agreement, IO will propose projects for consideration and an IESO review team will evaluate and, where warranted, select them for funding. If the funded projects yield significant energy savings, they may eventually be integrated into existing programs or expanded into new ones.
  • To the extent possible, projects will be selected to provide broad geographic coverage across Ontario.
  • Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to


“Ontario is committed to providing safe and sustainable buildings to deliver ministry programs and services across the province. Exploring cutting edge, energy efficient technology will lead to improvements in the government’s portfolio, and provide the knowledge and information required to see new technology adopted in other sectors.”

Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure

“Infrastructure Ontario strives to embrace innovation in everything we do, and we’re excited about the tremendous opportunity this partnership with the IESO offers. These pilot projects will assist in making our portfolio increasingly green and efficient, and if our projects act as a catalyst for adoption by other sectors, that would be a major bonus.”

Toni Rossi, Divisional President for Real Estate and Lending (interim President and CEO) Infrastructure Ontario

“The investments made under this agreement will drive innovation in the areas of conservation, energy efficiency and demand management. By creating a mechanism through which new technologies can be tested, we’re optimistic we can leverage the pilot project results to support reliability in power system operations.”

Bruce Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Independent Electricity System Operator


Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario that works to deliver public benefits through partnerships with the private sector. IO delivers large, complex public infrastructure projects using a made-in-Ontario modern procurement and project management practice called Alternative Financing and Procurement. Infrastructure Ontario also partners with the private sector to manage one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada, provides municipalities and eligible public sector clients with loans to renew public infrastructure, and leverages its private-sector expertise to advise provincial public sector clients on commercial transactions. Visit for more information.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs and works with its partners to guide conservation efforts. Through its Conservation Fund, the IESO supports innovative electricity conservation projects that build marketplace capacity for conservation actions; test new or unique conservation program elements; verify the energy savings potential and cost-effectiveness of novel demand-side technologies and processes; and can be scaled up to achieve significant energy savings in Ontario. Visit for more information.

Learn More

Infrastructure Ontario
The Independent Electricity System Operator
Save on Energy
IO-IESO Strategic Partnership Backgrounder

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