Federal government puts up $32M for energy-efficiency incentives in Manitoba

Initiatives promoting energy efficiency and reducing natural gas consumption in Manitoba are getting a boost from the federal government to the tune of about $32.3 million, the province announced on Friday.

Province contributing same amount through Crown corporation Efficiency Manitoba

MP Jim Carr says the federal government is contributing the money through its Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. (Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press)

Initiatives promoting energy efficiency and reducing natural gas consumption in Manitoba are getting a boost from the federal government to the tune of about $32.3 million, the province announced on Friday.

The money will go toward offering rebates and incentives for energy-efficient equipment and retrofit measures in Manitoba, provincial Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard said at a news conference.

"Today is a great day for Manitoba's green future," Guillemard said.

Residential upgrades like improved home insulation, smart thermostats, and furnace and boiler updates are among the changes eligible for incentives through the new project, the province said in a news release. 

Indigenous people and those with low income will be eligible to benefit from those measures at no cost, the release said.

For commercial, industrial and agricultural sites, eligible upgrades will include mechanical upgrades of space or process heating systems, building envelope renovation improvements, and support upgrades or equipment for new buildings, the release said.

The money from the federal government will come from Ottawa's Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund and will support programs offered by the Crown corporation Efficiency Manitoba, Winnipeg South Centre MP Jim Carr said at a news conference. 

Efficiency Manitoba chief executive officer Colleen Kuruluk said about half of Manitoba's natural gas energy efficiency programs are now powered by that fund. Manitoba is eligible to get as much as $66.8 million for programs that reduce carbon pollution and strengthen the economy through the fund, the province's news release said.

The Crown corporation, which was introduced in 2017 to take over Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart program, will also contribute about $32.3 million to the project.

The upgrades and retrofits incentivized by the programs are expected to help contribute to the goals of Manitoba's Carbon Savings Account — an element of the province's climate change plan — according to the release.

Ottawa will keep working with Manitoba to bring forward other measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and help Canada exceed its 2030 target and get to net-zero emissions by 2050, it said.

The Efficiency Manitoba programs over their lifetime are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total amount of roughly 488,000 tonnes, or the equivalent to taking about 150,000 passenger cars off the road for a year, the release said.

They're also anticipated to help create about 1,800 person years of employment by hiring people to install equipment or renovate buildings, Guillemard said, though that doesn't necessarily equal that many jobs.

Each person year of employment represents the number of hours of full-time work in a one-year period — which could mean one person working for a full year, for example, or three people working four months each.


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