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News Release - Manitoba

June 5, 2013

PROVINCE INVITES MANITOBANS TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON NEW POWER SMART INITIATIVES


Manitobans Have Saved $845 Million on Their Energy Bills So Far Through Power Smart Building for the Future, Investment in Energy Efficiency Key to Growing Manitoba's Economy: Chomiak

Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, announced today that he wants to hear from Manitobans on moving forward with Manitoba Hydro’s successful Power Smart programs, which are expected to have saved Manitobans over $1 billion on their energy bills by 2016. 

Over the coming months, the minister will lead a public consultation process that will include stakeholder meetings and an opportunity for the public to submit comments in writing and online.

“With a growing population and a growing economy, we are running out of power in Manitoba,” said Chomiak.  “We currently have among the lowest power rates in the country and we need a plan that makes sure our rates stay that way.  We believe Manitoba Hydro’s plan to build new generation, combined with strong investments and commitments to energy efficiency, is the best way to ensure Manitoba has the power it needs at the best price.”

Manitoba Hydro’s three-year Power Smart Plan outlines 27 Power Smart programs for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, investing more than $45 million in energy efficiency in the coming year.  Under the current plan, Manitobans will save $7.7 million on their bills in the next year alone.

“The success of Power Smart over the last decade means that it is increasingly challenging for Hydro to find cost-effective energy savings,” said Chomiak.  “We will be working with Manitoba Hydro, our stakeholders and the general public to find new and innovative ways to keep moving Power Smart forward.”

Manitoba Hydro’s capital plan to build for the next generation, which includes the construction of Keeyask and Conawapa dams, new transmission, interconnection with the U.S. as well as ongoing investments in energy efficiency, will ensure that Hydro is able to fulfil both the province’s domestic need for power as well as the export margin which will ensure the province keep amongst the lowest rates in North America, Chomiak said.

He noted that Power Smart initiatives like the Refrigerator Retirement Program have helped Manitobans cut their power bills and save energy.  Jaco Ecosolutions Canada in St. Boniface has developed a successful business to meet the demand, disassembling fridges into their component parts for recycling. 

“Programs like this make a lot of sense both environmentally and economically,” said Peter Creran of Jaco Ecosolutions. “They save money, help promote green energy and also create new businesses and jobs.”

Manitoba Hydro is recognized as an energy efficiency leader. Successful programs like the Power Smart Residential Loan are being copied in other provinces and Manitoba is the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer Pay-As-You-Save financing, which is a monthly charge that stays with a building despite changes in ownership and is designed to be lower than the customer’s monthly utility bill savings.

Energy efficiency is central to Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy, which lays out a comprehensive plan to meet a growing domestic need for power and keep rates low through hydro exports.  Through innovative new programs for difficult-to-reach rural and low-income communities, the province will build on the top rankings that Manitoba has received from the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance and continue to be a leader in Canada on demand-side energy management.

Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Plan can be found at www.hydro.mb.ca/psplan2013.

The Province of Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy is available at: www.manitoba.ca/iem/energy/cleanenergy.html.

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