IESO Education and Capacity Building (ECB) Program

Independent Electricity System Operator

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Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Nov 15, 2019 8:59pm PST

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Conference, Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: Canada

Location of residency: Canada

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In addition to tools and technology, investing in human potential is an essential part of building a modern, flexible and dependable power system.  The Education and Capacity Building Program creates opportunities for communities and organizations to participate in the energy sector by equipping them with knowledge and training.

The program funds initiatives proposed by First Nation and Métis communities and organizations, co-ops, municipalities, public sector entities, registered charities and not-for-profit organizations. Projects such as awareness campaigns, material and course development, workshops and education programs are helping to meet needs of communities and organizations while contributing to the ongoing development of Ontario's diverse resource capabilities.

The objective (the "Objective") of the Education and Capacity Building Program (“ECB Program”) is:

  • To provide funding support for the development of diverse initiatives (each, an “Initiative”) that provide education, build capacity and develop the skills of Aboriginal Communities, Municipalities, Public Sector Entities and Co-ops and to enhance their knowledge, awareness and participation in energy projects. 

In this Call for Proposals, the ECB Program will support initiatives in four main categories that focus on: 

  • Supporting transmission
  • Skills and capacity development for Internal Resources
  • Development of engagement strategies
  • An open category to support a range of different energy-related Initiatives

Category Types

Category 1: Implementation of a Community Energy Plan

In this category, the IESO is looking to support communities that have created a Community Energy Plan through ACEP, which Community Energy Plan the IESO has confirmed is complete and approved, to implement the opportunities identified therein for energy efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy or clean energy.  

Funding may be used for internships or to fund a portion of salary for an Internal Resource to undertake Initiatives related to the implementation of a completed and approved Community Energy Plan, including project management.

The Proposal must demonstrate how the Initiative will move forward on the opportunities identified in the Community Energy Plan, how the Initiative will build capacity within the Target Audience and develop the tangible skills of one or more Internal Resource or community members of the applicable Target Audience, and how the Target Audience will be engaged in the implementation of the Community Energy Plan.

Category 2: Skills and Capacity Development

In this category, the IESO is looking to support Initiatives focused on building capacity among, and developing the skills of, one or more of a Target Audience’s employees or community members in the area of energy project development.

Initiatives may include training related to energy management, technical skills, operation and maintenance, financial modeling and project management with respect to energy projects. Funding may also be used to facilitate student internships or to fund a portion of an employee’s salary, which employee has been hired to undertake, or has otherwise been tasked, in whole or in part, with undertaking, Initiatives related to energy development.

Category 3: Open Category

In this category, the IESO is looking to support Initiatives involving a unique or innovative idea, approach or delivery method that provides education, builds capacity and develops the skills of Target Audiences to enhance their knowledge, awareness and participation in energy projects. The Proposal must clearly demonstrate how the Initiative, approach or delivery method is unique or innovative, and how the innovative or unique approach will contribute to the success of the Initiative. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The following Proponent types are eligible for funding under the ECB Program (each an “Eligible Proponent”):
    • First Nation and Métis Communities;
    • Co-ops;
    • Municipalities;
    • Public Sector Entities;
    • Registered Charities; and
    • Not-for-Profit Organizations.
  • The following types of entities may be eligible to apply to the ECB Program:
    • a Legal Entity wholly-owned and Controlled only by a Person or Persons that constitute the same Proponent Type;
    • a Legal Entity that is jointly owned and Controlled only by Persons:
      • that are at Arm’s Length from each other;
      • that are different Proponent Types; and
      • each of which is a Proponent Type; and
    • an organization that represents, in the sole and absolute discretion of the IESO, the interests of more than one First Nation and Métis Community (a “First Nation and Métis Organization”)
  • Two or more eligible Proponents that are at Arm’s Length and each meet the Mandatory Eligibility Requirements (“Joint Proponents”, and each individually a “Joint Proponent”) may take a collaborative approach and submit a Proposal together (a “Joint Proposal”).
    • Joint Proposals are encouraged where collaboration between two or more Proponents will strengthen the Initiative and enhance access or delivery to the Target Audience(s).
  • An Initiative proposed by one or more of the Eligible Proponents must be designed to target one or more of the following groups that are located in Ontario (each, a “Target Audience”): 
    • First Nation and Métis Communities;
    • Co-ops;
    • Municipalities; or
    • Public Sector Entities.
  • Eligible Internal Expenses:
    • Funding under the ECB Program may be provided for expenses a Proponent incurs for services carried out by Internal Resources that are necessary to carry out the Initiative, excluding any Ineligible Expenses (“Eligible Internal Expenses”).
  • Eligible External Expenses:
    • Funding under the ECB Program may be provided for expenses a Proponent incurs for the services of external duly qualified professional and technical consultants and contractors (“External Resources”) that are directly involved in and necessary to carry out the Initiative, excluding any Ineligible Expenses (“Eligible External Expenses”).


  • Ineligible Expenses
    • any costs related to the provision of legal advice or the development or distribution of legal templates, precedent agreements, or materials that are considered or could be considered legal or financial advice;
    • any Costs related to activities listed in Section 8.3 of the Rules;
    • any Costs for which funding was received in relation to the Initiative from another source;
    • any Costs that are not directly related to the Initiative;
    • any Costs that the Proponent or Joint Proponent(s) did not directly incur;
    • any Costs incurred, or relating to any activity, matter or thing carried out before the Contract Start Date or after the Final Deliverable Date;
    • any Costs associated with meeting the administrative obligations of the Proposal or Funding Agreement under the ECB Program or any other Support Program, including preparing status and other reports as may be required under the Funding Agreement;
    • any Costs associated with submitting the Proposal, or applications or proposals under any of the Support Programs, or entering into a funding agreement under any of the Support Programs;
    •  any Costs paid to Governmental Authorities, including fees paid for governmental certifications;
    • any Costs or activities related to meeting with or the lobbying of any Governmental Authority or the IESO;
    • any Costs in respect of employees or any other internal, pre-existing, long-term or permanent resources or commitments that do not pertain to the Initiative;
    • any Costs associated with use of personal devices (e.g. Costs relating to mobile or landline phones, costs of laptops or internet service provider fees, etc.);
    • any Costs related to administrative operating expenses such as real estate expenses, insurance, office supplies, printing, mailing, utilities, memberships, dues, subscriptions, accounting activities, or maintenance of equipment;
    • any Costs to advocate for, promote, or for the development of, a transmission project or a renewable energy project, including a project under the FIT Program or LRP Program;
    • any Costs related to the development of a transmission line, such as expenses related to obtaining approvals, construction of a transmission line, or establishing a partnership arrangement in respect of a transmission line;
    • any Costs related to the connection of an Electricity generation project to the IESOControlled Grid;
    • any Costs related to the acquisition of electric vehicles, whether through purchase or lease;
    • any Costs that are not an Eligible External Expense or an Eligible Internal Expense;
    • any Costs incurred that are not evidenced by Deliverables, including the supporting documentation required by the Funding Agreement, or other evidence of payment satisfactory to the IESO, in its sole and absolute discretion;
    • any Costs not approved by the IESO as part of the Proposal and Budget, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the IESO, in its sole and absolute discretion;
    • any Costs that, in the IESO’s view, in its sole and absolute discretion, materially deviate from the approved Proposal in relation to the Work Plan, Budget, Project Team, timelines or Initiative description;
    • any Costs in respect of HST;
    • any Costs in respect of any benefits, deductions and withholdings, including any taxes, union dues, Canada Pension Plan contributions, employment insurance contributions and employer contributions paid by the Proponent in respect of the employment of Internal Resources;
    • any Costs paid by means of cash, services in-kind, bonds, promissory notes or barter;
    • any capital, operating, maintenance, or construction-related Costs of a transmission project or a project under the FIT Program, the LRP Program, or the Remote Projects Development Sub-stream of the EPP;
    • any Costs to advocate for or promote a single company or organization, including Costs related to Co-op membership drives; and
    • any Costs for travel, hospitality or meals that do not comply with the Ontario Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive 2010, as further outlined in Section 4.5