Custom Energy Solutions – FAQ

What are Custom Energy Solutions project milestone incentives?

Project milestone incentives allow facility owners (participants) to receive partial Custom Project Implementation Incentives for pre-defined project milestones. All participants are eligible for milestone incentives pending Custom Project pre-approval. The Custom Energy Solutions Terms and Conditions and Engineering Guidelines define the documentation required to trigger each milestone incentive payment. Click here for more details.

What is a Simplified Custom Measure?

Facilities face high energy demands but may lack the out-of-pocket funds associated with making custom upgrades. That’s why Energy Efficiency Alberta has introduced Simplified Custom projects that are less complex and do not require complex system models or uniquely designed measurement and verification (M&V), so projects can be processed relatively quickly. These lower-cost measures often provide facilities with valuable energy savings, at a fraction of the up-front cost. More information.

What is the measurements and verification process?

Learn more about the process of measurement and verification here, along with FAQ.


What is Custom Energy Solutions?


Custom Energy Solutions helps large facilities improve productivity, save energy and save money by upgrading old, inefficient equipment and making other energy improvements. Knowing that there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all answer, we’ll work directly with you to identify your specific goals and needs. We offer end-to-end support and incentives to implement the most cost-effective enhancements in your facility.

What does “custom implementation” mean?

A custom implementation incentive allows customers to consider more holistic solutions to reducing energy use and GHG emissions. Custom project implementation incentive  can consider a number of different energy conservation measures that when combined produce significant energy savings. An example project may look at the savings associated with a process improvement or the savings associated with improvements to a steam distribution system. Or the custom project can consider and propose a project based on the savings from multiple measures including the interactive effects between each measure.

Why is Energy Efficiency Alberta offering Custom Energy Solutions?

Custom Energy Solutions is designed to assist customers in the identification and implementation of projects that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Assistance is offered through a number of initiatives including:

  • Custom Project Implementation Incentives improve the financial attractiveness of energy efficiency projects and are designed to positively impact the decision to move forward with project implementation.
  • Incentives to support your investment decision and improve ongoing operations
    • Scoping Audit identify and quantify potential energy efficiency opportunities. Incentives cover up to 100 percent of costs.
    • Engineering Studies provide more detailed project quantification in terms of project benefits including energy savings and financial performance.
    • Re- and Retro-commissioning (RCx) Investigations identify and quantify the opportunity for reduced energy use through a focus on optimizing the efficiency of facility energy systems including associated O&M impacts.
    • Energy Managers are on-site, dedicated resources supported by Custom Energy Solutions incentives, designed to drive energy efficiency project implementation.
Who is eligible?

Industrial, institutional, commercial customers with facilities operating within the Province of Alberta. Incentive levels vary based on facility size. Facilities defined as Large Final Emitters or customers or facilities that have opted into the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation are not eligible.

We work closely with the following facility types, helping you move forward with your energy efficiency retrofit projects:

  • Natural gas and oil field production
  • Natural gas and oil processing plants and pipelines
  • Mining operations
  • Manufacturing facilities (e.g. food processing, chemical processing, fertilizer production, wood products, pulp and paper)
  • Higher education
  • Healthcare
  • Wholesale trade
  • Waste management
  • Commercial buildings
  • And more

Learn about eligibility, including how to calculate your facility’s annual emissions.

Custom Energy Solutions uses the term “facilities” to define a broad scope of eligible industrial, institutional and commercial customers that includes manufacturing facilities, industrial plants, natural gas and oil field production sites, mining operations, natural gas and oil processing plants and pipelines as well as hospitals, universities and college campuses. Please contact us to see if your facility is eligible.

Custom Energy Solutions will not offer incentives for lighting or lighting controls or any prescriptive measures outlined in the Business Energy Savings program.

What types of financial incentives are available?
  • Custom Project Implementation Incentives are available to drive the implementation of custom energy efficiency measures that result in reductions in energy use and associated GHG emissions. Custom Project Implementation Incentives are provided on a $/tonne of GHG emissions reduced basis based on the first year of GHG reductions and paid out for year one only.
  • Scoping audit incentives are available to pinpoint energy-saving opportunities in your facility and outlines potential upgrades, available incentives and estimated savings.
  • Incentives can cover up to 90 per cent of an on-site energy manager’s first year salary
  • Incentives can cover up to 100 per cent of Engineering Studies
  • Incentives can cover up to 100 per cent of Retro- and re-commissioning (RCx) investigations

Learn more about Custom Energy Solutions.

Is there someone who can visit our facility and make energy efficiency recommendations?

Yes, by accessing Custom Energy Solutions through the on-line customer portal customers can request a Scoping Audit.  Customers will be required to meet eligibility criteria.

How do I apply for incentives within Custom Energy Solutions?

Energy Efficiency Alberta has made it easy to get started by providing an on-line application portal. This application portal allows you to create a customized login and password. Using your individual login you can apply for technical services and custom incentives. The portal provides guidance on the information required to apply for incentives as well as ongoing feedback on the status of your applications.

For more information on documentation required for submission, please consult the self-registration and enrollment and the application requirements for pre-approval and completion.

Is Custom Energy Solutions funding limited?

Yes, in the first year of the program for projects greater than 10,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, incentive funding is limited to $1 million per year for an individual facility and $2 million per year for a parent facility implementing projects with support from Custom Project Implementation Incentives.

For projects less than 10,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, incentive funding is limited to $250,000 per year for an individual facility and $500,000 per year for a parent facility implementing projects with support from Custom Project Implementation Incentives.

What if I’ve recently implemented projects – are they eligible for Custom Project Implementation Incentives?

The intent of Custom Project Implementation Incentives is to improve the financial viability of potential projects. As such, already implemented projects are not eligible for incentives.

Does my facility have to be in Alberta to be eligible for participation?

Yes, the facility where the energy efficiency measures are implemented must be physically located within the Province of Alberta.

Are new facilities eligible for participation?

New facilities are not eligible for participation in the program. New facilities are defined as projects where new equipment has been purchased. Custom Energy Solutions provides incentives only for existing facilities with projects that upgrade or retrofit existing equipment that reduce greenhouse gases.

My company has participated in Business Energy Savings (formerly the Business, NonProfit and Institutional Energy Saving Program). Can we also participate in Custom Energy Solutions?

Yes, you may be eligible to participate in both programs; however, the incentives cannot be combined to cover the same implementation of measures (e.g. implementation of the same measures at the same facility or facilities).

What if I’m participating in other federal and/or government programs that incent energy efficiency – can I also participate in Custom Energy Solutions?

Yes, however incentives cannot be combined to cover the implementation of the same projects at the same facility or facilities.

What fuels/energy sources are eligible?

All fuels, energy sources and emissions that generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are eligible for participation including electricity, natural gas, light oil, heavy oil, diesel fuel, propane and methane emissions.  Learn more about Custom Energy Solutions.

Are natural gas facilities that only consume source fuel and solar generated electricity eligible?

Consumption of only source fuel and solar-generated electricity does not exclude a facility from being eligible. Facilities are required to meet all other eligibility criteria.

Is fuel switching allowed within the program?

Yes, fuel switching is allowed if the switch from one fuel source to another fuel source results in a net energy reduction and an associated GHG reduction.

Can I work with my current program allies?

Yes, one of the primary goals of Custom Energy Solutions is to encourage and promote the participation of Program Allies. Custom Energy Solutions defines Program Allies as services and specialized equipment firms that provide scoping audits, engineering studies, and retro-commissioning investigations focused on greenhouse gas reductions.  Organization types may include engineering firms and vendors, as well as installers of high-efficiency industrial and commercial equipment.

Are there program allies that Custom Energy Solutions recommends?

Energy Efficiency Alberta and Custom Energy Solutions do not recommend or endorse program allies. Energy Efficiency Alberta and Custom Energy Solutions will require minimum levels of experience and capabilities from program allies as part of program onboarding.

Are incentives available first come, first served?

Yes. While Custom Energy Solutions is looking for broad participation from customers in Alberta, the distribution of incentives will be on a first come, first served basis for eligible customers that meet program requirements and conditions for participation.

What are greenhouse gas emissions?

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are produced through the combustion of fossil fuels or the emissions of non-combusted gases such as methane. Greenhouse gases are atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Canada is a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement and as such have committed to reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 as compared to a 2005 baseline.

What is Carbon Dioxide Equivalent?

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e) is used to quantify greenhouse gases in a common unit. Different greenhouse gases have different impacts on global warming. In order to consider GHG emissions on an equivalent basis, they are converted into equivalent units of carbon dioxide using their Global Warming Potential (GWP).

For example, methane has a GWP of 25, meaning it is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide from a global warming perspective. Therefore, 1 tonne of vented methane is equivalent to 25 tonnes of CO2e.

What is a scoping audit?

A Scoping Audit often serves as the first step in implementing energy efficiency measures. A scoping audit is typically performed by a program ally or energy consultant and includes a walk-through of the facility to identify and quantify cost-effective projects that will save energy. For Custom Energy Solutions it is a requirement that program allies have been onboarded prior to performing Scoping Audits to be eligible for incentives.

Find out more about Scoping Audits.

What is an Engineering Study?

An Engineering Study enlists the services of an onboarded engineering firm or program ally to develop a detailed assessment of defined energy efficiency opportunities. The assessment will detail the assumption and methodologies used to quantify the savings potential and financial benefits of project implementation.

Find out more about Engineering Studies.

What are on-site Energy Managers?

Custom Energy Solutions provides incentives, training and on-going support to the approved hiring/staffing of a full time On Site Energy Manager. The Energy Manager will serve as a dedicated on-site resource identifying, quantifying and implementing energy saving measures.

Find out more about On-Site Energy Managers.

What are Retro- and Re-Commissioning (RCx) Investigations?

Retro- and Re-Commissioning (RCx) Investigations are a written report that detail the opportunities that a facility should pursue to improve the operational efficiency of existing facility equipment and processes. An RCx Investigation also identifies and recommends strategies and approaches to implementing ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) processes. RCx Investigations must be delivered by onboarded Program Allies to be eligible for receiving incentives.

Find out more about RCx Investigations.

What are Custom Project Implementation Incentives?

Custom Project Implementation Incentives are designed to improve the financial viability of proposed energy efficiency projects and/or allow the customer to pursue more costly, higher efficiency project options. Projects must be pre-approved by Energy Efficiency Alberta prior to work beginning on the project. The GHG reductions and energy savings resulting from the project will be verified by Custom Energy Solutions before the incentive is paid out.

Additional information on Custom Project Implementation Incentives can be found by here, or by contacting the Account Management team.

Custom Energy Solutions will not offer incentives for lighting or lighting controls or any prescriptive measures outlined in the Business Energy Savings program.


How are Custom Project Implementation Incentives determined?

Custom Project Implementation Incentives are determined by calculating the GHG reductions from the project in the first year. A rate of $/GHGs is then applied to these first-year savings in order to calculate the total incentives.

What are environmental attributes in the context of Custom Energy Solutions?

Environmental attributes are defined as potential benefits arising from the reduction in consumption of natural gas and electricity from energy savings and GHG reduction projects. The environmental attributes can also be defined as carbon offset credits created because of reduced energy consumption or reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. For the purposes of Custom Energy Solutions the environmental attributes are quantified as tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

What happens to the environmental attributes generated from custom projects that have received Custom Energy Solutions incentive funding?

Custom Energy Solutions has been designed to be an easily accessible one-stop-shop for valuing the carbon reductions from large energy intensive facilities. All environmental attributes arising from projects that have received incentives through Custom Energy Solutions are kept by Energy Efficiency Alberta. This is one of the terms of participating in the program.

How do I become a Program Ally?

Program Allies are services and specialized equipment firms that provide scoping audits, engineering studies, and retro-commissioning investigations focused on greenhouse gas reductions.  Organization types may include engineering firms and vendors, as well as installers of high-efficiency industrial and commercial equipment. All Candidates are encouraged to create a profile in the application portal to initiate and participate as a Program Ally.

Learn more about Program Ally onboarding process.

As a Customer how do I engage with a Program Ally? Is there a referral list available for approved Program Allies?

If you do not have a program ally you prefer to work with, Custom Energy Solutions can provide you with a list of qualified service providers who are supporting customer participation. Reach out to us by email or call us at 403-800-8947.

Where can I find out more about Custom Energy Solutions?

Our website has all the details.

You may also email our Custom Energy Solutions team to learn more.