FAQs: Feasibility studies and pilot projects
What is a feasibility study?
A feasibility study assesses the technical and financial feasibility, as well as the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a potential municipal environmental project. A municipal environmental project responds to a municipal need and contributes to cleaner air, water, or soil, or reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Typically, a feasibility study examines the requirements and outcomes of a specific project using verifiable evaluation processes, leading to a recommended course of action. Feasibility studies are an important component of prerequisites for all GMF pilot project and capital project applications.
At a minimum, your feasibility study must include:
- Baseline information on current environmental performance
- A technical explanation of how the proposed project will meet or exceed the GMF environmental eligibility criteria
To optimize your study's effectiveness, be sure to:
- Include contextual details for various project options
- Describe the selection criteria and models that support expected environmental performance
- Assess operational and maintenance costs
- Describe key project risks, propose solutions and offer risk management recommendations
- Draft a project schedule
- Produce a life cycle analysis
- Propose a financial plan
For brownfield initiatives, Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments (or equivalent assessments, as required in your province or territory) and site-specific remedial action plans or risk management plans are considered feasibility studies.
What is a pilot project (formally called field test)?
A pilot project allows for an evaluation of a new technology or solution under its expected operating conditions. It assesses technical and financial feasibility using a verifiable monitoring and evaluation process, and it examines the environmental, social and economic performance of a potential full-scale implementation. Typically, a pilot project is geared for permanent installation, should the pilot succeed.
When can I apply for funding?
You can apply for funding at any time. A new GMF application form will be available on April 1, 2015, when the new funding offer takes effect. Applications under the current GMF funding offer will be accepted until March 31, 2015. For more information on applying under the current offer, please contact us.
How long will it take to find out whether my initiative will be funded?
We aim to provide a funding decision within four months from the time we receive your complete application, including all required documents.
What is the difference between the funding approval process effective April 1, 2015 and the previous one?
There is no difference in the funding approval process for plans, feasibility studies, pilot projects and brownfields capital projects. Applications are reviewed as they are received in a non-competitive process. They are not compared against other applications; instead they are scored according to established criteria. By contrast, a competitive approval process, including an initial review stage, is required for capital project applications in the energy, transportation, waste and water sectors.
What percentage of eligible costs is covered for feasibility studies?
We cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for feasibility studies.
What is the maximum grant for feasibility studies?
We offer grants, which cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $175,000, to undertake eligible feasibility studies.
What percentage of eligible costs is covered for pilot projects?
We cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for pilot projects.
What is the maximum grant for pilot projects?
Grants for pilot projects (formally called field tests) would cover 50 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $350,000.
What costs are eligible and when do they become eligible?
If your application is approved, costs become eligible as of the date that we receive your complete application. Costs incurred to hire a consultant to prepare the application form are also eligible up to 90 days before the date we receive your application. Eligible costs are partially reimbursed.
Please see our eligible costs for feasibility studies and pilot projects. Contact us for more details about our eligible cost dates and reimbursement procedures.
It is stated that GMF funds "50 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $175,000" for studies. Does that mean GMF's funding allocation might be less?
Yes. You may not receive the full amount of funding that you request, usually because some of the costs incurred are ineligible. Please see our eligible costs for feasibility studies.
It is stated that GMF funds "50 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum of $350,000" for pilot projects. Does that mean GMF's funding allocation might be less?
Yes. You may not receive the full amount of funding that you request, usually because some of the costs incurred are ineligible. Please see our eligible costs for pilot projects.
What types of feasibility studies do you fund?
We fund feasibility studies that align with our criteria for eligible capital projects. Baseline data collection is not eligible as a stand-alone initiative (e.g. energy audits, waste audits).
What type of pilot projects do you fund?
We fund pilot projects that align with our criteria for eligible capital projects.
Do you fund environmental site assessments for brownfield projects?
We fund Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) or equivalent assessments, as required by individual provinces and territories, and site remedial action plans, but not Phase I ESAs.
What if the project I want to study does not meet one of the established thresholds?
If your project does not meet one of the established thresholds it may still be considered eligible under the new funding offer, within the special projects eligibility criteria — provided the project offers environmental benefits and demonstrates a new solution or approach to a municipal environmental issue, and that it would generate knowledge for other communities. If you think your project meets this description, please contact a GMF advisor.