1 INTRODUCTION Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is seeking proposals for the full-service design, implementation and administration of a comprehensive GHG reduction program targeting Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) in Ontario. Organization Description OCE, established in 1987, is a leading not-for-profit organization that works with industry, academia and government to drive the translation and commercialization of research originating from the province s colleges, universities and research hospitals. OCE has a successful track record for investing in collaborative commercialization and entrepreneurship projects in the segments of the economy that will drive Ontario s future prosperity and enhance its global competitiveness. Our priority sectors include: advanced health technologies, advanced manufacturing, energy and environment, and ICT and digital media. As a trusted partner and thought leader in the innovation ecosystem, OCE delivers programs in partnership with various provincial and federal government stakeholders, including the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS), Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG), Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD), and Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). This Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) targeted GHG reduction program is being funded by the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation, an agency of the Government of Ontario. As per Ontario Regulation 46/17, the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation was created to stimulate the development of industry, trades and business undertakings in Ontario that further the deployment in Ontario of commercially available technology that reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings or from the production of goods, with an emphasis wherever appropriate on fuel-switching, energy storage, renewable energy and deep energy retrofits. RFP Not Binding This RFP is not intended to create and does not create a formal legally binding bidding process. This RFP does not commit the OCE in any way to select a Preferred Proponent, or to proceed to negotiations for an Agreement, or to award any Agreement, and the OCE reserves the complete right, at any time to reject all Proposals, and to terminate this RFP process. This RFP is not intended to create, and should not be construed as creating, contractual relations between the OCE and any Proponent. 1. PROJECT INFORMATION This section includes the background information on the Program, specifically the: rationale, description, target market and eligibility, objectives, outcomes and goals.
2 1.1 Rationale Provincial incentive programs to help businesses reduce energy costs have traditionally focused on investing in capital projects. However, it is well documented that there are other barriers associated with SMEs not implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures. SMEs often do not have enough time and resources to explore GHG reduction options, and lack information about GHG reduction opportunities. SMEs can also lack the internal capacity or expertise to develop a business case and manage the implementation of GHG reduction projects. In many cases, access to capital and/or financing for these GHG reduction projects is also a challenge. The Program will help SMEs overcome the aforementioned barriers and provide the support to implement GHG reducing measures. 1.2 Description The Program will have two components: 1. Concierge Services - The Program provides technical engineering resources with sector and end-use specific experience to identify opportunities to reduce energy and water use resulting in GHG emission reductions. Activities that will be undertaken through this component include but are not limited to: a. A scoping audit and assessment of the Customer s facility (see Section 4. Task 5 for definition) b. A customized report equivalent to a pre-feasibility engineering study and include all energy sources and water uses but focus on fossil fuels c. Assistance and facilitation services to develop a strong business case that could include participation in multiple incentive programs 2. Funding for Implementation of Projects Identified in Component 1 - The Program will also provide the following incentives: a. Matching funds for capital projects that produce measurable GHG reductions identified during the Concierge phase b. Guidance and support to develop business cases, scopes of work or other support to implement the capital projects The Concierge Services will be provided at no cost to the Customer. The funding for the implementation of projects will be provided on a cost share with the Customer.
3 The completion of the scoping audit and assessment of the Customer s facility will not be part of the Proponent s scope. The successful proponent will assist in the design and determine the scope of the audit and assessment. OCE intends to procure the technical services function, in addition to marketing and outreach functions separately from program design, administration and delivery. Companies that intend to provide the aforementioned services should not submit a proposal to this RFP. 1.3 Target Market and Eligibility The Program will primarily target support for industrial and commercial sector customers located in Ontario with less than 500 employees. The target market in Ontario is made up of: 407,175 small business (<99 employees) 8,437 medium sized businesses ( employees) The following other entities will be eligible: Multi-national organizations with branch plant capital in other countries Multi-facility entities across Ontario Combination of owner occupied facilities as well as leased facilities Privately owned commercial heritage buildings (that are protected under the Ontario Heritage Act and/or other relevant legislation) Multi-unit residential buildings 1.4 Objectives The key objective of this program is to assist commercial and industrial customers in improving facility energy performance and reducing GHG emissions through the implementation of a multi-faceted energy management program. Additional objectives of this program are: Demonstrate the potential and value of transitioning to a low carbon economy to Ontario SMEs Help SMEs assess all provincial and federal programs that they might be eligible for and benefit from Assist Customers in assessing the economics of potential GHG reduction projects Improve the efficiency of existing production of goods and building energy systems through optimization of controls and operations Develop market capacity to deliver technical assistance to SME customers 1.5 Program Outcomes The desired Program outcomes include:
4 Measurable GHG reductions through the incentive component of the Program Measure and maintain a customer satisfaction score of 85% Target sign-up of 1,000 customers by June 30, 2018 Target of 75% of audits result implementation of recommendations 1.6 Program Outreach & Communication The OCE will be responsible for oversight of the marketing and outreach strategy, with key responsibilities including the management of outreach patterns, the development of marketing and communications materials, and the establishment of targets and measures of success. The successful Proponent will be responsible for the coordination of marketing and outreach partners, and support of activities, including events management and coordination, system integration and outcomes gathering. 2. QUALIFICATIONS The successful Proponent will have previous experience with program design, implementation and full-service administration in the energy efficiency or GHG reduction sector and can demonstrate an understanding of the Ontario s commercial and industrial sectors, specifically as it relates to energy usage and GHG emissions. The selected Proponent should be a for-profit registered Corporation in Ontario. While OCE may provide broad guidelines on the Program and pricing approaches, it seeks recommendations/solutions from Proponents. Proponents should clearly indicate all details about the proposed approach and solutions while highlighting the added benefits that Ontario will receive as a result of the approach. The following sections detail the two required services to be administered under this contract, program design and implementation. 3. PROPOSED APPROACH TO PROGRAM DESIGN 3.1. Design Requirements Commercial and Industrial Customers have extremely variable equipment and energy needs due to the broad range of buildings and processes utilized. To support such a wide range of customer needs and with over 400,000 potential participants, the Program must be designed to accommodate high volumes and transactions. The Proponent will also have to ensure that Customers have access to a wide range of technical experts for projects that are specific or unique to the site and operation. OCE invites the Proponent to suggest additional innovative components or initiatives that would maximize the GHG reduction opportunities for the Customers. There is a particular
5 interest in approaches that could lead to rapid deployment of efficient low carbon technologies. The Proponent should specify the anticipated energy savings and GHG reductions target and budget that would be allocated to these initiatives. The design must incorporate the following: a. Prepare program conceptual design including financial modelling b. Design all technical and financial review requirements c. Design the standardized content for site energy/ghg reduction potential assessment and custom report d. Concierge services e. Incentive approval and processing f. Design and select the appropriate eligible measures list g. Estimate and forecast the volume of installed measures h. Estimate the anticipated $/tonne reduction based on the installed measures i. Design and prepare work flows from program outreach, customer intake, assignment of auditor, report delivery, and all facilitation and follow-up with the customer. j. Recommend financial controls and sign-off authorities k. Propose and design M&V requirements in consultation with OCE and the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation i. Site Energy & GHG Assessment and Custom Report Approve and on-board eligible customers Assign an in-field technical resource to conduct the assessment Schedule and prepare for the assessment Conduct the in-field assessment Complete a site customer satisfaction survey Prepare the draft report QA/QC of the report Submit the report to the customer ii. Concierge Services Follow-up with customer on the report findings Interview customer before assigning a technical resource Support and facilitate participation in other programs Develop a plan to implement GHG reduction projects Identify any additional study requirements Support procurement requirements Prepare incentive applications for SME incentives iii. Incentive Approval & Processing
6 Prepare any information requests Define scope of the Define incentive and GHG values Calculate cost effectiveness 3.2 Design Focus The Proponent should design a Program that focuses on the following principles: Convenience of participation (addressing the complexity barrier for customers) Province wide access to the program Customer engagement Collaboration with channel partners Clear policy for incentive stacking and attribution of savings for both ratepayer incentives and the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation incentives Achieving deep energy savings and GHG emission reductions in the commercial and industrial sector through financial incentives and technical support; Providing a straightforward and timely application process to reduce the resources required to access program funding; Ensuring that Customers have access to technical subject matter experts who speak industry-specific language and can help identify promising technologies and repeating sector-specific opportunities; and Fostering relationships with leaders from the contractor, vendor, and engineering communities, who are critical to project implementation. 4. PROPOSED APPROACH TO IMPLEMENTATION AND ADMINISTRATION The successful Proponent will implement a Program that demonstrates cost-effective delivery and management. The proposed approach should include, but not be limited to: Develop application requirements including forms, agreements and program rules Process applications and coordinate funding award notifications Schedule site visits and meetings with program participants Provide project data tracking and M&V Provide Program Component data tracking and weekly reports Approval of projects for incentive eligibility Recommend financial controls and sign-off authorities Develop a CRM system for client management, program operations management, and reporting Develop minimum qualifications for technical assessment resources and firms Integrate with existing Energy Manager programs as appropriate All Projects will require screening from the Proponent. The program will include a project intake and screening process, pairing successfully screened projects with the appropriate
7 technical experts who will manage the client and associated energy and GHG savings opportunities through to completion. The Proponent s responsibilities include: Task 1: Develop Program Requirements and Parameters The successful Proponent will need to develop and specify the Program application process as well as determine appropriate eligibility and incentive criteria. The Proponent should propose an appropriate performance-based incentive rate that will determine the incentive for submitted projects, up to some portion of eligible project costs and limited by a maximum incentive amount (OCE is currently considering up to 50% of eligible project costs, capped at $500,000, but the proponent is encouraged to suggest an appropriate threshold). Projects are expected to be awarded funding based on the submission and validation of savings calculations and supporting information, costeffectiveness, and corporate commitment to move forward with the project if awarded funding. Some of the program design tasks required include: Establish incentive values or rates (i.e. per GJ of validated annual energy savings or tonne of GHG emissions reduction), minimum/maximum incentives to be published, and the minimum customer contribution of project costs. Decide what measures are eligible for incentives. Specify savings analysis, application, and performance measurement and verification (M&V) requirements. Establish operating protocols including application procedures and review templates, project intake and screening process, pairing process to match screened projects with technical experts. Establish time targets for internal review of applications and other components of application review. Task 2: Develop and Implement an Incentive Award Procedure The Proponent must implement a procedure for approving and distributing incentive awards. The incentive distribution protocols could take several forms but should include a percentage of the incentive distribution at project completion, with the remaining balance due (with corrections for realized savings) after measurement and verification. The Proponent must also specify at what point during the project s installation and measure verification incentives are disbursed. For the largest projects, the incentive portion associated with installation could be further distributed as a combination of start-up and milestone payments over the course of project installation. This allows the customer to offset some of their capital costs as the project installation is underway and can alleviate capital barriers.
8 Task 3: Coordinate Project Data Collection and Perform M&V All projects over a certain incentive threshold or energy savings will be required to undergo verification of performance and results. Project M&V will be the responsibility of the Proponent and will be included within the program budget. Submitted proposals should offer a minimum criteria above which projects will require M&V. For projects awarded that fall below the suggested criteria, a sampling strategy should be offered. Performance and results will be measured using M&V best practices for the sector. These can differ depending on the type of project. The M&V strategy will be developed with the Customers prior to any project being initiated and included in the project agreement. Task 4: Develop Relationships with Industry Partners A key component of the successful program delivery will be the procurement of industryleading, pre-qualified energy engineers capable of providing energy audits and detailed investment grade analysis for commercial and industrial customers. It will also involve developing relationships with industry partners who will contribute indirectly and directly to project development. Partners could include but are not limited to: Vendors and contractors providing equipment and installation services in Ontario; Industry or technically specialized subject matter experts who can provide insight into analysis approaches and legitimacy of technologies; and Industry associations and utilities to identify the most promising customers for targeted program outreach. Task 5: Ongoing Operation and Reporting Scoping Audits Initiative Scoping audits will be used as preliminary tools to investigate and develop GHG reduction projects. The intent is to provide the facility with enough information to allow them to decide whether to pursue opportunities further and initiate some degree of GHG reduction master planning. Unlike the more detailed Engineering Studies (below), scoping audits are intended to be high-level (i.e. a walkthrough audit). The result will be a short report detailing actionable opportunities for the facility. The audits will be fully funded but the projects identified will require cost-sharing from the customer and may include a reimbursement of some or all of the cost if identified opportunities are implemented or no opportunities are identified; the proponent should suggest a funding approach and the rationale for selecting it. Capital-intensive GHG reduction projects require detailed engineering analysis beyond simple audits. Engineering studies are to be used to provide rigorous estimates of the project economics and GHG savings.
9 Task 6: Develop an Incentive Approval Procedure All third-party scoping audits will require preapproval for both scope and proposed cost. The Proponent will be responsible for developing the Initiative requirements, application, and a clearly defined procedure for application intake, review, and approval. Task 7: Recruit and Train Certified Providers A list of technical assistance providers or engineering firms that maintain the necessary skills to complete scoping audits will be identified and recruited to the program. Proponents should demonstrate experience and propose methodologies for qualifying service providers. Approved vendors should receive training on the key deliverables expected from every audit. 5. DELIVERY RESPONSIBILITIES OCE expects that the Proponent will comprehensively and completely deliver all aspects of the program including delivery, data collection and tracking, and more as described in the tasks below. Task D-1: Program Development Develop all Program administration and implementation materials including but not limited to: Application and rebate forms and processes; Data collection and tracking policies and systems; Energy savings and GHG reduction calculations and reporting sheets and/or database; Internal forms including, but not limited to, tracking sheets or database, internal process documents, quality assurance procedures, etc.; Preparation and submission to OCE for approval a reporting template for weekly and monthly reporting; All recordkeeping and file management procedures sufficient that the calculations and findings can be replicated Additional policies and procedures including, but not limited to, Health and Safety, customer service and complaint escalation procedures and resolution processes, etc.; Preparation and submission to OCE for approval: o Satisfaction survey; Task D-2: Reporting The Proponent will be required to submit weekly written status reports to OCE and attend a weekly status call/meeting during program development.
10 These status reports should outline: Overall summarization of the project progress Services provided Remaining deliverables, progress and expected delivery on each Issues and concerns affecting specific deliverables and the project schedule or any other aspects of the project. On an ongoing basis, the Proponent will be required to provide the following reports to OCE: Monthly reports: o A summary of all ongoing projects, including the status of remaining deliverables, progress, and expected delivery of each. o Updated information on the Program costs, including budget spent, costs incurred and forecasts for each Program Component. o Any issues and concerns affecting specific deliverables and the Program s progress toward target or any other aspect of the Program. Any issues or customer complaints and the resolution as they arise, o Additional details as required, including for evaluation, verification, and quality assurance/quality control purposes. Weekly raw data excerpts to OCE, including information on, but not limited to: o Program participants (contact, project and facility information, including details on equipment being replaced and incented measures); o Any program participant information required by OCE to support auditing and reporting o Rebates; o Costs (broken out by incentives and participant costs, as well as overall program costs); o Energy savings (overall and by participant); o GHG reductions (overall and by participant.) Task D-3: Quality Assurance and Quality Control Quality Assurance involves the planned approaches for achieving the required level of quality in delivery of the Services. It provides confidence that the Service provided by the Contractor satisfies the requirements and expectations of OCE. It is intended to minimize risk, maintain high customer satisfaction, embed quality in all aspects of program delivery, maximize energy savings, maintain cost-effectiveness and work towards continual program improvement. Complementary to quality assurance, Quality Control is also a critical step of the Services. It is intended to ensure the expected equipment was installed and the savings are being achieved. Quality control activities include a review of equipment cut sheets, invoices, and any other documents as deemed relevant by the Contractor to ensure the completeness of incentive applications.
11 Quality assurance and quality control activities will be reported to OCE monthly. The Contractor will also be required to fully participate in any quality control/quality assurance protocols initiated by OCE as part of the Scope of Work. Task D-4: Data Collection and Tracking Complete and accurate data collection is a critical component of the Services to ensure energy savings are accurately calculated, the data can be verified and appropriately evaluated, continual program improvement, and to inform future program offerings. Task D-5: Evaluation, Measurement & Verification The Contractor will be required to participate in evaluation activities with any third-party evaluation and verification consultants hired by OCE. Activities may include, but are not limited to, aiding evaluators in planning, arranging interviews and site visits, coordinating implementation- and evaluation-driven M&V, providing program tracking and projectspecific documentation, etc. Evaluation may be concurrent with project development, shortly after project completion, or later. Value Added Services Proponents may propose value-added services that improve service delivery and/or program objectives. Value-added services shall be included as optional services with separate pricing. Value-added services will be agreed upon at the sole discretion of OCE. 6. MANDATORY REQUIREMENT Proponents must identify an overall Project Manager that cannot be changed without OCE s approval. The Project Manager should have sufficient management authority to address all issues that arise and bring these issues to a close, with finality. 7. BIDDING REQUIREMENTS a) Evaluation Criteria. The following information will be used in evaluating proposals: The completeness of response to the requirements outlined; Proposed fees and costs, although OCE is not bound to select the firm which proposes the lowest price and reserves the right to negotiate costs; The extent to which the recommended services and security meets OCE's needs; Information obtained from firm s references or other clients; Best interests of OCE.
12 Scoring for the evaluation will be broken down as follows: i) Detailed Proposal (60%) The proposal should include the following provisions: A statement acknowledging understanding of the requirements; A narrative of the proposed approach, reflecting the Proponent s understanding of the scope, objectives, priorities and requirements presented in this RFP; Strategies that the Proponent(s) will apply to resource OCE and to manage performance and quality assurance during the contract; The rationale behind the Proponent s proposed team structure and composition. A narrative of the rationale behind the Proponent s proposed methodology to providing the services and deliverables; An explanation of how the proposed approach has been successfully utilized to with a previous or existing client; The proposed strategy to make optimum use of OCE s and the Proponent s resources to ensure that the value to the services are maximized; A proposed budget summary for the requirements of this RFP; A detailed schedule in Gantt chart format that addresses all proposed tasks presented and a proposed list of deliverables; Any assumptions as to the scope or nature of the work, which the Proponent has made in completing the proposal, or any other significant factors upon which changes in resource effort may result; An identification of risks applicable to the project, and proposed strategies to mitigate such risks; An indication why the Proponent considers itself, its Proposal and its resources to be the right ones and what key strengths it will bring to the project; What the Proponent sees as the critical success factors for the project; and An indication why the Proponent considers itself, its Proposal and its resources to be the right ones. ii) Experience, Core Competencies and Areas of Expertise (25%) Proponents should demonstrate Relevant experience (years of experience, range of projects participated in, etc.) directly related to the project requirements Relevant experience designing and implementing programs Qualifications (educational and professional attainments; and all other academic credentials) Resume(s) or curriculum vitae References see section b) below iii) Rates/Pricing (15%)
13 Proponents can propose a price structure. OCE will consider a structure which includes start-up costs, fixed monthly costs and variable costs. OCE expects that Proponents to detail and align costs relative to deliverables and maintaining customer service levels. Proponents must meet a minimum score on the detailed work plan and Proponents experience and the team. b) References The Proponent must have two (2) prior relevant client engagements for similar services as those bid on, each greater than two years in length, demonstrating corporate experience supporting client needs similar to the nature, size, and complexity of those of OCE. See Schedule A for form. c) Submission Format. Proposals are to be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format (Excel spreadsheets can also be attached for financials). Please note that all of the requested information must be included, or the proposal may not be considered in the evaluation. The proposal must demonstrate the ability to fulfill the requirements and perform the necessary work in this RFP. d) Service Level. Estimated delivery of milestones on time and of a quality acceptable to OCE is required. e) Terms and Conditions. Any information provided by OCE either in this RFP on in subsequent verbal or written communications shall be considered confidential and for express use in the preparation of this proposal. All proposals submitted become the property of OCE and to be received and held in confidence. All data collected, and all resulting reports and publications prepared by the successful bidder will be the exclusive property of OCE. The RFP does not commit OCE to pay any costs incurred by any respondents in the submission of a proposal, or in making studies or designs for the preparation thereof, or for procuring or contracting for the services to be furnished under the RFP. f) Conflict of Interest. Proponents must clearly demonstrate their lack of bias and any potential real or perceived conflicts of interest in delivering the proposed services including conducting energy audits or assessments, administrating or approving funding applications for other programs including, but not limited to, ratepayer-funded programs, and recommending, specifying or implementing energy and/or GHG reduction projects or processes within the SME market. Proponents must identify actual or potential issues and propose specific mitigations whose sufficiency and adequacy will be solely determined by OCE. g) Period of Performance. The anticipated duration of Services is from contract award to March 31, OCE in its discretion, will confirm actual start and end dates for the Services upon finalizing the Contract. OCE will conduct a
14 performance review of the Contractor after the first year to ensure that all requirements are being met and reserves the right to modify or terminate the contract in the event of underperformance or for any other reason at its sole discretion. 9. Bidding Process and Schedule. The application deadline is Friday March 16th, 2018 by 4:00 pm EST. Responses should be sent via to: Short-listed candidates may be invited for a phone/video interview. Final selection is expected to be done by Wednesday March 14th, We reserve the right not to award the contract to any of those submitting proposals, and we may seek further responses. Deadline for submission of interest March 16 th, 2018 OCE Decision March 23 rd, 2018 All bids will be acknowledged with a return receipt. If you do not receive one and/or you have any inquiries, please contact OCE. Any responses may be shared with all potential bidders.
15 Schedule A Reference Form REFERENCE FORM Bidder Instructions: Each Bidder is requested to provide 2 references from clients who have obtained similar goods and services in the last 2 years as those requested in this RFP. OCE reserves the right to consider the provision of references to be a minor formality and to waive or vary that requirement at its sole discretion. Reference #1 Company Name: (Bidder to insert Company Name) Company Address: (Bidder to insert Company Address) Contact Name: (Bidder to insert Contact Name) Contact Telephone Number: (Bidder to insert Contact Telephone Number) Contact (Bidder to insert Contact ) Date Work Undertaken: (Bidder to insert Date Work Undertaken) Nature of Assignment: (Bidder to insert Nature of Assignment) OCE has permission to contact reference (Yes/No) Reference #2 Company Name: Company Address: Contact Name: Contact Telephone Number: Contact Date Work Undertaken: Nature of Assignment: OCE has permission to contact reference (Bidder to insert Company Name) (Bidder to insert Company Address) (Bidder to insert Contact Name) (Bidder to insert Contact Telephone Number) (Bidder to insert Contact ) (Bidder to insert Date Work Undertaken) (Bidder to insert Nature of Assignment) (Yes/No)