SMART GREEN Program artwork

SMART Green Program Guidelines

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is adding to the legacy of the CME SMART funding program.  In the Fall 2016, CME in partnership with Government of Ontario launched a new $25 million SMART Green fund that will assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and improve their energy efficiency.

Since 2008, CME has administered approximately $80 million in direct funding to more than 1,400 manufacturing projects across Ontario through various SMART Programs.

Program Overview

The SMART Green Program is open to small- and medium-sized manufacturers throughout Ontario and provides assistance in the form of non-repayable grants of 50% of eligible costs up to $500,000. The program will improve the competitiveness of the Ontario manufacturing supply chain by not only delivering value to the SME-eligible manufacturers, but also by contributing to Ontario’s 2020 targets for GHG emissions reduction.

The purpose of this Program is to support investments in technology and process improvements by manufacturers which result in GHG emissions intensity reductions and/or avoidance through upgrades to process/production equipment, deliver energy efficiency, and lead to productivity improvements, which in turn lead to lower GHG emissions on per-production-unit basis; more specifically, where improvements will include new process and/or production equipment installation and associated costs to an existing facility.

Eligibility

  • Manufacturers must be located in Ontario with a minimum of 10 full time employees.
  • The Program targets small and medium-sized manufacturers with annual greenhouse gas emissions under 25,000 tonnes per year.
  • Manufacturers who are participating in or have opted in to Ontario's Cap & Trade Program are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply for SMART Green funding.
  • Applicant companies must be financially stable incorporated businesses with 3 years or more operating history in Ontario. “Financially stable” will be generally interpreted to mean the company can demonstrate profitability and a healthy balance sheet in its two most recent year-end financial statements.
    • Companies unable to do this may still be eligible to participate in the Program if they can otherwise demonstrate the long-term financial health of the company to CME.
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need for the funding, i.e., without a SMART Program grant, the project would fail to meet a desired hurdle rate/payback timeframe.
  • The application must demonstrate a favorable payback.
  • Job retention and job growth will also be considered as part of the evaluation process.
  • Recipients of previous SMART Programs may apply.
  • Companies must be engaged in manufacturing as their primary activity (as indicated by their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code), which is defined as:
    • An establishment primarily engaged in the physical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products. These products may be finished, in the sense that they are ready to be used or consumed, or semi-finished, in the sense of becoming a raw material for an establishment to use in further manufacturing. Related activities, such as the assembly of the component parts of manufactured goods; the blending of materials; and the finishing of manufactured products by dyeing, heat-treating, plating and similar operations are also treated as manufacturing activities.
    • This may also include establishments engaged in food processing where the primary activity is the treatment, preparation of food ingredients or the packaging of foods.  Excluded from eligibility is the subsector of food production where the primary activity is the raising of livestock and growing of agricultural products for intermediate or final consumption.
  • Funding is available for NEW and FUTURE projects only; projects must not begin until a contribution agreement is signed by both the Applicant and CME.  SMART will not accept an application where the project has been started and/or commissioned to start.  For clarity, any equipment or materials that would be purchased as part of the project has been ordered or delivered, the project would not be eligible for the program.

Funding Process

The Program provides three funding streams: walk-though assessment, detailed technical assessment, and capital investment project. The maximum funding limits for assessments and projects are mutually exclusive from each other; contributions awarded for assessments do not reduce the contribution amount of an approved project.

Walk-through Assessment

  • Applicants who have not identified a project may apply for funding for a walk-through assessment by a Qualified Technical Service Provider (QTSP) to identify potential GHG reduction/energy efficiency projects. 
    • A list of QTSPs is posted on the SMART Green website; however, if an Applicant wishes to work with a preferred consultant, the consultant must meet the program’s QTSP qualifications. Refer to the Assessment section of this website for more information.
  • Companies can apply for one walk-through assessment per facility.
  • Approved walk-through assessment applications are eligible for 100% SMART Green assessment funding to a maximum of $2,500.

Detailed Technical Assessment

  • When submitting a project funding application, Applicants must include a detailed technical assessment demonstrating the facility’s current baseline GHG emissions as well as forecasted post-project reductions.
  • Companies unable to complete a detailed assessment internally may apply for SMART Green Assessment funding assistance to work with a QTSP who will conduct a detailed technical assessment of current GHG emissions and energy usage.
    • A list of QTSPs is posted on the SMART Green website; however, if an Applicant wishes to work with a preferred consultant, the consultant must meet the program’s QTSP qualifications. Refer to the Assessment section of this website for more information.
  • Companies performing the detailed technical assessment internally cannot apply for assessment funding to recover associated costs nor claim associated costs, such as internal labour, as eligible project expenses.
  • For a detailed technical assessment by an approved service provider, Applicants can receive an initial contribution amount of 50% of eligible consulting costs to a maximum of $15,000; in addition, a supplementary contribution amount will be awarded if the assessment results in an approved project under the Program, bringing the total contribution to 100% of the costs of the assessment not exceeding a maximum of $15,000.
  • For detailed technical assessments requiring gas metering by an approved service provider, an initial contribution of 50% of eligible consulting costs to a maximum of $30,000 can be awarded, and a supplementary contribution will be issued if the assessment results in an approved project under the Program. The total contribution allowed is 100% of eligible costs not exceeding a maximum of $30,000.
  • Companies can apply for one detailed technical assessment per facility.

Project Funding

  • Applicants can receive 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000 for a qualified capital project.
  • Companies can apply for only one project per facility.
  • Companies with more than one facility, including those owned by affiliated companies, may apply for a maximum of 5 facilities.
  • For multi-facility applications, the maximum combined funding allowance for approved projects will be capped at $1,500,000 per company or group of affiliated companies, with the maximum funding allowance per facility being capped at $500,000 for a project.
  • Where multiple facilities within a company or group of affiliated companies are approved for funding, the parent company will determine the allocation of the SMART contribution among qualifying facilities up to the maximum combined allowable funding limit.
Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for your business. It is recommended that advice be obtained from a qualified tax professional.

Stacking of Funds

Stacking of funds with other local distribution company or government programs will be considered on an individual basis. In general, stacking of funding from complementary programs is acceptable where the reimbursement contributions for project expenses do not overlap.

The guiding principle for any stacking provisions will be that a company receiving project funding under the SMART Program and from any other programs will still be obligated to maintain a significant level of contribution from their own sources.

It is best to discuss the stacking options with the Technical Program Advisor to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits for your project.

Timing

Application intake opened on October 31, 2016 through SMART’s online Grant Management submission portal. The portal will remain open until all funding has been committed.

Applications will be considered on a first-in, first-reviewed basis, and may only be submitted by the prospective grant recipients, i.e., an Applicant may not engage an external organization to submit an application on its behalf.

Approval of an application will be dependent on the information that has been provided with the application.  It is expected that a decision for a technical assessment should be complete within 7 – 10 business days.  A decision for capital project should be completed within 30 business days.

Upon notification of funding approval, Applicants will receive a contribution agreement outlining the terms and conditions. The agreement must be signed and returned to CME within 10 days of receipt and prior to starting any project activities and incurring any project-related expenses.

All applications must be for future work.

  • Assessment and Project-related activities may not start before a Contribution Agreement has signed by the Applicant and by CME.
    • For project applications, this excludes the pre-project technical assessment.

Assessments approved for funding:

  • Assessments must begin within sixty (60) days following the date of the Contribution Agreement.
  • Applicants will have ninety (90) days from the assessment start date to complete the assessment.

Projects approved for funding:

  • Applicants will have until December 31, 2018 to complete the project.

All assessment and project activities, including final reporting requirements, must be completed by March 31, 2019. 

How to Apply

To avoid any disappointment or delays in processing your funding request, please ensure to read through all sections of the SMART Green Program guidelines prior to submitting an application. By accessing the CME SMART online Grant Management submission portal, you confirm you have read and understood the applicable program guidelines.

Our application forms contain a number of detailed questions about your company, the people who work there, and about the specifics of your proposed project, its costs and timing, and the benefits you expect from it. As a result, various people in your organization may have to contribute different information to complete your application. 

SMART Online Grant Management Submission Portal

The SMART Green online application process is hosted on a new Grant Management platform, distinct from any previous systems. Our new online application portal allows for multiple contributors to be assigned to the completion of an application form.

Please note that applications may only be submitted by the prospective grant recipients; an Applicant may not engage an external organization to submit an application on its behalf. Applications submitted by a third party on behalf of an Applicant will not be considered. The primary contact must be an employee of the company.

All Applicants must first create an account (user profile). The “Applicant” is the primary person responsible for creating and submitting the application.  Before creating an application, the Applicant must create a company Client Profile. Then, if required, the Applicant can assign other registered users to the Client Profile so that they may contribute to an application. There are three types of User Roles:

  • “Applicant”: can edit and manage the company’s Client Profile; assign other users to the profile; create, complete, and submit applications.
  • “Contributor”: can complete and submit applications.
  • “Read-only”: can only view the application and cannot make any changes.

For additional instructions, download the portal User Guide.

GHG Calculator Template

If you are submitting a project application, you will need to complete and attach two copies of the GHG Calculator template (Excel file) to show your pre-project GHG emissions and your post-project forecasted GHG emissions with your application. If your project is approved for funding, you will need to complete and attach another copy with your final Performance Report, showing your post-implementation results.

Download the GHG Calculator template.

Paper-based Application Forms

Before submitting an application, you may want to print a paper-based copy of your application form to assist in preparing and organizing the information you will need. You can do this from within the application portal.

  • Follow the steps to create a new submission form
  • On any page of your application form, click on "Print Preview" at the top. The application form will open in a new window.
  • Save and/or print a copy.

A Fair and Impartial Process

Each application will be given a fair evaluation based upon the information that is provided in the applications and with any additional supporting documentation provided by the applicant. Applications are reviewed by SMART staff for eligibility. With the anticipated volume of applications to be received, only the highest ranked applications will be approved. Should additional funding be received, or if all funding is not committed before the end of the program, it is possible that the next best applications could be revisited for funding.

Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest

Any discussion and communication pertaining to an application will be carried out directly with the applicant. Applications will not be discussed with third parties (i.e. consultants).  Letters of consent or authorization from applicants are not accepted.

All CME staff and contractors involved in the application review and selection process are covered by a strict confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement. In addition, based on information you provide in your application, reviewers are required to declare any conflicts of interest so that your proposal receives an impartial and unbiased review. A copy of the CME SMART Program Code of Conduct is available upon request.

Financial statements are reviewed to ensure the viability of a company. This information is held in strict confidence with the program. Only SMART staff will have access to view the file. The Government of Ontario will have access upon request of the documents.

Accessibility

We are committed to providing accessible information and customer service. If you need communication support or accessible formats of any of our documentation, please contact us.

Support

If you are experiencing technical issues, or if you have any questions about the SMART Green Program and application process, please contact us at 1-877-913-4263 or send us an email.

Last update: July 4, 2017

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is accurate at the time of posting and is subject to change without notice.

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