Making your small business more energy efficient, environmentally friendly, or “green” can carry a number of benefits. In addition to the intangible but important public relations value such moves may have, you may be able to reap direct financial rewards. Taking substantial steps to make your company more green might also help to reinforce your company’s brand image. As an example of the potential, significant financial benefits of going green, in Ontario, electric vehicle incentive programs offer up to $18,000 in rebates if your business purchases or leases a new hybrid or battery electric vehicle and also buys a level 2 charging station. Here’s a rundown of some of the financial incentives to making your business more green, organized by province as available programs do vary from one province to another.
Programs in Ontario
In addition to the electric vehicle incentive program previously mentioned, there are a number of other financial incentive or reward programs available in Ontario. If your business develops a project that promotes energy conservation, or is engaged in creating energy-saving technology, it could be eligible for up to $1 million in project financing through the Conservation Fund. Companies engaged in business activities that address social, economic, or environmental needs may qualify for low-interest business loans up to $25,000 through the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund for Social Enterprises. In Ontario, as well as throughout the country, the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation offers financial and other assistance for making industrial facilities more energy efficient, such as through retrofitting lighting or HVAC systems.
Programs in Québec
Companies based in Québec that are in the agriculture, food processing, or water-bottling business can apply for financial assistance from Programme Levier, administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, to increase market access and improve product quality and safety of products. Programme Technoclimat offers up to $5 million in financial assistance for projects aimed at developing or marketing new technologies that improve energy efficiency. If your business is considering purchasing or replacing energy system equipment, Programme EcoPerformance may cover up to 75% of the expense of installing more energy-efficient equipment.
Programs in Other Provinces
For businesses located in Nova Scotia, there are business energy rebates available to defray the cost of purchasing energy-efficient buildings and office equipment. British Columbia’s Coast Opportunity Funds – Economic Development Fund has funding for sustainable businesses that focus on creating community-based employment opportunities. Newfoundland and Labrador’s takeCHARGE Business Efficiency Program gives companies rebates of up to $50,000 to help pay for upgrading to more energy-efficient electrical systems.You can learn more about available energy incentives in your area by contacting your electric power company or organizations such as the Canada Business Network or the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Also keep in mind there are numerous programs throughout the country that provide funding or financial assistance for business endeavours such as starting a business or hiring employees in rural or other underdeveloped economic areas.