IESO directed to implement $692m CDM Framework

The Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on September 30, 2020, to implement a 2021-2024 Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Framework (the Framework). The Framework is to be launched the week of January 4, 2021, with a total budget of $692 million.  Background. In March 2019, the Ontario government replaced the 2015-2020 Conservation First Framework with a 2019-2020 interim framework (the Interim Framework). The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the introduction of a new four-year CDM to apply immediately after the term of the Interim Framework to provide stability to companies that deliver CDM programs and assist electricity consumers to manage costs. CDM Program ($457m). The IESO is directed to deliver CDM programs to the following consumer segments or communities:

  • Commercial, institutional or industrial consumers;

  • On-reserve First nations communities ($36m); and

  • Low-income and income-eligible residential consumers by combining the existing Affordability Fund Program and the Home Assistance Program.

The IESO is directed to: (i) procure measures to address regional and local electricity system needs, through local CDM programs, projects, or pilots; (ii) provide residential and other consumers with a suite of online tools, guidelines, and information to build awareness of CDM measures; and (iii) implement CDM programs that demonstrate positive cost-benefit benchmarks in accordance with the IESO’s Cost-Effectiveness Guide.


Energy Affordability Program ($156m). The IESO is directed to design, coordinate, deliver, and fund an income-tested residential program, which will provide different tiers of support based on income eligibility, with the majority of the support provided to low-income households. This program is a means to provide electricity saving measures based on an assessment of needs and projected efficiency gains.


On-reserve First Nations Program ($36m). The IESO is directed to deliver and fund projects that were originally established under the Interim Framework, under the following First Nations programs:

  1. The First Nations Conservation Program;

  2. The Conservations on the Coast Program; and

  3. The Remote First Nations Energy Efficiency Pilot Program.

The IESO is further directed to design, coordinate, deliver, and fund new First Nations programs as the aforementioned programs are concluded, based on input from First Nations communities and MENDM. Next steps. The IESO, by December 1, 2020, is to deliver to MENDM a CDM plan for the 2021-2024 term, including details of the CDM programs to be offered, their estimated annual costs, and expected peak demand reduction and energy savings results. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@demarcoallan.com.  

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