Manitoba ranked 5th in Canada’s first Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard, earning 32 points out of 100.

Energy Efficiency Programs See All

Energy efficiency programs secure energy savings through various strategies such as audits, retrofits, training for building tradespeople, “people-centred” or behavioural efficiency strategies, and customized industrial programs.

Energy Efficiency Program Administration

In 2017, the provincial govenrment introduced the Efficiency Manitoba Act, establishing a new crown corporation called Efficiency Manitoba, with a mandate to implement and support demand-side management programs to meet savings targets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both the electricity and natural gas sectors.

Efficiency Manitoba filed its 3-year Efficiency Plan in October 2019, proposing to launch programs under the new administrator in 2020. The Plan will be reviewed by the Public Utilities Board, with final approval by the Minister of Conservation of Climate.

Electricity and natural gas efficiency programs have historically both been administered by Manitoba Hydro, the provincially-owned utility company, under the Power Smart brand name.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Energy Efficiency Targets

The Efficiency Manitoba Act of 2017 legislates long term energy efficiency savings targets over 15 years (2017-2032). The targets are:

  • Minimum net annual electricity savings at least equal to 1.5% of electricity consumption in the immediately preceding year
  • Minimum net annual natural gas savings equal to 0.75% of natural gas consumption in the immediately preceding year
  • Any shortfalls and surpluses in carry forward over the 15 year period to reach cumulative annual percentage savings equal to 22.5% for electricity and 11.25% for natural gas.

These targets apply to Efficiency Manitoba, not Manitoba Hydro.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

The Efficiency Manitoba Act gives Efficiency Manitoba the mandate to implement and support demand side management initiatives, which includes to “mitigate the impact of rate increases and delay the point at which capital investments in major new generation and transmission projects will be required by Manitoba Hydro to serve the needs of Manitobans” (Section 4(1)(c)). The Act requires Efficiency Manitoba to submit an energy efficiency plan every 3 years to the Public Utilities Board.

The Efficiency Manitoba Act's targets of 1.5% of electric load and 0.75% of natural gas volume will take effect once Efficiency Manitoba creates its first 3-year DSM plan. That plan will cover the period of 2020/21 to 2022/23. Manitoba Hydro does not have a mandated target.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Efficiency Potential Study and Energy Planning

The last efficiency potential study was submitted to the Manitoba Public Utility board in August 2013.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Cost-Effectiveness Testing

Primary Test: Program Administrator Cost Test
Secondary Test: Lifecycle Revenue Impact Metric

The Efficiency Manitoba Act allows for additional reductions above mandated savings targets, if those reductions can be achieved in a cost-effective manner (Sect 4(1)(b)).  It requires the public utility board to review cost-effectiveness (Sect 11(4)), and gives it the ability to make regulations on the rules determining cost-effectiveness (Sect 40(3)(b)).

Efficiency Manitoba’s first 3-year plan uses the program administrator cost test to measure cost-effectiveness of the plan, as prescribed by regulation. The lifecycle revenue impact metric is used as a simplified indicator of the rate impacts of the plan, and the plan provides both a rate and bill impact assessment.

Manitoba Hydro's primary cost-effectiveness test was the TRC. Some initiatives are pursued with a  TRC <1 as exceptions - for example programs supporting targeted sectors such as lower income,  natural gas programs where support is required in order to move the market overall for both electric and natural gas opportunities (e.g. new home construction), and where Manitoba Hydro may be piloting initiatives in emerging sectors to better understand the market.  Manitoba Hydro's secondary tests are the levelized utility cost, the societal cost test, the levelized resource cost, the program administrator cost and the rate impact measure. Manitoba Hydro applies its tests at the program and portfolio level.

Last reviewed: November 2019

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

Some electric and natural gas programs were evaluated by a third-party in 2016/17 and 2017/18.  The others were evaluated internally.

Programs evaluated externally are listed below. 


  • Commercial Refrigeration Program
  • Affordable Energy Program


  • Power Smart Shops (currently named the Small Business Program)
  • Commercial HVAC Program

Natural Gas

  • Natural Gas Optimization Program
  • Affordable Energy Program


  • Power Smart Shops (current name is Small Business Program)
  • Commercial HVAC Program

Last reviewed: August 2019

Program Innovation

The Efficiency Manitoba Act requires three-year efficiency plans to include a description of educational initiatives and support for “encouraging innovations in areas related to its mandate” (Section 9(b)).

Manitoba Hydro includes an Innovation Fund in its overall DSM budget to support innovation and pilot projects.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Support for Low-income Energy Efficiency Programs

Manitoba has an Affordable Energy Fund. Under the Energy Savings Act, Manitoba Hydro would contribute a proportion of its gross revenue from electricity exports to this fund, and the fund would ensure people with low-income, seniors, and people living in rural and northern Manitoba have access to programs. This fund is continued under the Efficiency Manitoba Act.

In July 2007, the Public Utilities Board Order 99/07 required Central Gas Manitoba Inc. to contribute to the fund to support high-efficiency furnaces for low-income households and fixed income seniors. 

Manitoba Hydro also operates the Indigenous Energy Efficiency Program. Through this program, an energy efficiency specialist from Manitoba Hydro works collaboratively with the Band Housing Manager from each Indigenous community to identify qualifying homes in the community for energy efficiency upgrades.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Enabling Policies See All

Enabling policies refer to policies, regulations, and other activities that build supportive infrastructure and policy frameworks to advance energy efficiency in a province. 

Support for Financing

On-bill financing
Manitoba Hydro’s Pay-as-you-save (PAYS) financing program allows homeowners to use the estimated annual utility savings from energy savings pay for upgrades to space heating equipment, insulation, water heating and water conservation. The annual interest rate of the loan is fixed at a rate of 4.9% for the first 5 years of the loan and is paid back through the customer’s monthly energy bill. If the home is sold, the financing may be transferred to the next homeowner until it is paid off.

Manitoba Hydro’s Energy Finance Plan provides a loan repaid through the homeowner’s monthly bill for upgrades to electrical and natural gas systems. The loan is not transferable to the next homeowner if the house is sold. Up to $5,000 per residence in financing is available through this program, for a maximum term of 5 years at an annual interest rate of 6.75%.

The Residential Earth Power Loan support geothermal heat pumps, cold climate air source heat pumps, solar thermal water heaters, and solar PV systems. Monthly loan payments is made through the customer’s monthly energy bill. Up to $30,000 per residence in financing is available through this program, depending on the technology being installed.  The maximum term of the loan is 15 years and the annual interest rate is 4.9%, fixed for the first 5 years.

The Home Energy Efficiency Loan Program offers financing up to $7,500 per residence, of which $5,500 can be applied to the purchase of a high efficiency natural gas furnace for energy saving upgrades. The maximum term of the loan is 5 years (or 15 years of a high efficiency natural gas furnace or boiler has been purchased) at an annual interest rate of 4.8%, fixed for the first five years. The loan is due when the house is sold and is not transferable to the next homeowner.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Research and Development

Several universities conduct energy research and development within the province. From 2014-2018, 11.8% of energy resource-related NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) funds were awarded for energy efficiency.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Lead by example

Manitoba Green Building Program includes requirements for government funded projects under The Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Act, Green Building Regulation MR 38/2013, which requires

  • Buildings be designed to a targeted energy efficiency level of at least 33% more energy efficient than the requirements of the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (1997)
  • Building design must achieve the targeted level of energy efficiency by achieving designation under the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart for Business, New Buildings Program.

Under Manitoba’s Green Building Program, new provincial government buildings and major renovations, must be at least 33% better than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings and be certified LEED Silver or better.

Vehicle Fleets
A fleet vehicle reorganization announced in October 2018 will remove 400 vehicles from the governments fleet. Staff will be encouraged to reduce travel time by using video and conference calls when possible. Monitoring devices will be installed in remaining cars to track practices such as idling, speed, and fuel consumption.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Grid Modernization

Advanced metering
In January 2007, Manitoba Hydro launched a pilot project for the installation of advanced electricity and natural gas meters. The project concluded in 2009, with the final report stating the need for study of anticipated benefits and project risks.

In Manitoba Hydro’s Consolidated Capital Expenditure Forecast covering the years from 2011 to 2032, advanced metering infrastructure is identified as a $30.9 million initiative, set to commence in March 2019.

EnerTrend, an energy profiling tool developed by Manitoba Hydro specifically for large industrial and commercial customers utilizes advanced interval metering to collect near real-time data on the energy consumption of facilities.

Non-wires alternatives / Geo-targeting
Manitoba Hydro has started initial work on developing a location specific DSM marginal value to be used to identify system constraints that could benefit from geo-targeting.

Manitoba Hydro has been geo-targeting for reasons other than distribution system constraints. Recent examples include the communities of Dauphin and The Pas, who committed to a Community Energy Plan with Manitoba Hydro. Similarly, Manitoba Hydro targeted select First Nations including Opaskwayak; Peguis, and Long Plain First Nation.

Conservation voltage reduction
Manitoba Hydro does not use conservation voltage reduction

Rate design
Declining block rate. General Service electricity customers receive a lower energy charge after a threshold consumption level.

Alternative Rate options include an energy charge based on spot market conditions, and curtailable rate program for industrial customers.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Carbon Pricing

Manitoba has a carbon price under the federal government’s carbon pricing “backstop”. Thus a carbon price was in place for large industrial facilities in January 2019 and for fuel producers and distributors in April 2019.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Buildings See All

Buildings are a significant and often neglected component of Canada’s infrastructure, and high-performance buildings are important for our quality of life, physical and mental health, and economic productivity

Building Codes

Housing and Small Buildings
The Manitoba Building Code is adopted as regulation 31/2011 under the Buildings and Mobile Homes Act. Section 9.36 applies of the Manitoba Code applies to houses and smaller buildings and follows the 2012 National Building Code’s provisions for energy efficiency. The energy efficiency provisions came into force on April 1, 2016.

Large Buildings
The Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings (MECB) was created through regulation 213/2013 under the Buildings and Mobile Homes Act. It applies to “larger buildings” (greater than 600 square meters of floor area). The MECB follows the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada. This code became effective on December 1, 2014.

Stretch or Step Codes
No stretch or step codes have been adopted in Manitoba. 

Net-zero energy ready commitment
No formal commitment to adopt net-zero energy ready building codes.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Building Code Compliance

A number of Manitoba Hydro technical and program staff participated in meetings led by the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) with the larger Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJs) to discuss the energy code adoption and consistent application of the code. This group met in the period around 2015 and 2016.  Manitoba Hydro staff also met with the City of Winnipeg and the OFC to provide technical assistance with the auditing of six projects in total. The in-kind support provided feedback on the information to be reviewed and information the AHJ should be asking industry to provide.

A number of Manitoba Hydro staff have also provided code specific presentations to local industry associations and postsecondary educational institutions.

Both the New Buildings Program’s Energy Modelling Assistance Incentive and the New Homes Program's Performance Path stream, energy modelling rebate, and design assistance have grown the energy modelling activities within the province which has directly affected the quality of code submissions to the AHJs.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Home Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory home energy rating and disclosure: No
Home energy labelling voluntary or pilot program: No

Manitoba Hydro provides an EnerGuide label for all energy efficient new homes built under the Performance Path of its New Homes Program.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Building Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory large building energy rating and disclosure: No
Voluntary building benchmarking and transparency program: Yes

Manitoba Hydro offers a free service to automatically upload energy consumption data to Energy Star Portfolio manager, for those who opt in.

EnerTrend is a subscription-based service through Manitoba Hydro that creates energy profiles for large industrial and commercial operations. This service creates a building profile and identifies cost-saving measures.

Manitoba Hydro offers free energy efficiency screening studies for commercial buildings. These studies identify energy efficiency opportunities, but also benchmark building consumption to industry averages to encourage savings.

In Manitoba’s 2013 Green Buildings Program, regular energy and water use tracking for government buildings is mandated. In order to help government buildings reach this goal, the Government of Manitoba recommends participation with NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool.

In 2011, the Winnipeg City Council introduced measures mandating the energy and water performance benchmarking of city-owned buildings of over 3,000 m2. The City of Winnipeg also employs the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool for benchmarking.

Manitoba Race to Reduce is a corporate challenge to reduce total energy use by 10% in participating commercial buildings

Last reviewed: August 2019

Appliance and Equipment Market Transformation

Laboratory and Field Testing
Manitoba Hydro monitored 3 CC ASHP (air source heat pump) installations over a 2-year period. The study is currently being compiled into a report. The initial findings were presented at a Natural Resources Canada seminar “All About Heat Pumps” in December 2016. 

Manitoba Hydro also undertook a field test of 3 heat pump water heaters. Two of the units were removed before the field test was completed. One unit was monitored for a year.

Demonstration Projects
Manitoba Hydro has supported biomass demonstration projects through the Bioenergy Optimization Program.

Training on new technologies and equipment installation
Manitoba Hydro hosted a recent educational session offered to members of the architectural community in Manitoba. The presentation focused on commercial window opportunities in the commercial retrofit market, while identifying and reinforcing the benefits of high performance building envelope upgrades, particularly, how these upgrades contribute to overall cost-effectiveness by reducing energy consumption and operating costs and improving thermal comfort of the building.

The session hosted approximately 25 industry professionals and resulted in requests for future presentations. Architects are a critical program stakeholder as they are influencers in customers’ decision making process at the design stage, as many building envelope upgrades involve structural modifications requiring the expertise of a registered architect. This group serves as a strong advocate, reinforcing the benefits and designing buildings with energy efficiency in mind.

Development of codes and standards
Manitoba Hydro contributes $200,000 annually to SCOPEER to support the development of CSA standards. Manitoba Hydro technical staff actively participate on SCOPEER and CSA standards committees

One of Manitoba Hydro’s technical staff is a member of the National Energy Code for Buildings Building Envelope Task group, a group whose responsibilities include the development of thermal performance (energy efficiency) requirements for windows.

Manitoba Hydro has collaborated with Fenestration Manitoba (window and door industry association) to clearly state the Manitoba industry position on the proposed federal window and door regulations. Manitoba Hydro has a representative on the Energy Efficient Fenestration Steering Committee which is responsible for the development of the federal window regulations.

There have been informal discussions with representatives of Manitoba Hydro, Fenestration Manitoba and Manitoba Sustainable Development regarding window regulations for Manitoba.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Appliance and Equipment Standards

Manitoba harmonizes with federal energy efficiency regulations, except for gas furnaces and boilers. Manitoba’s specific standards were made via regulation 181/2009 under The Energy Act, in force December 30, 2009. At the time, these standards were higher than federal minimum standards.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Efficiency Requirements for Government Supported Housing

The “design guidelines for multi-unit affordable and social housing”, dated November 2017, require new buildings to qualify for the Power Smart Designation from Manitoba Hydro’s new buildings program. The program requires new buildings to be at least 10% more efficient than the Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings 2013, which followed the 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Transportation See All

Policies tracked in the transporation area reflect the potential energy savings of closer integration of private transportation with buildings and electricity grids. 

Zero-Emission Vehicles Mandate

There is no ZEV mandate in Manitoba.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Electric Vehicle Charging Program

EV Charging Program: No
Support for fast-charging stations: No

Manitoba Hydro provides information on EVs and EV charging, but does not have a deployment program.

Last reviewed: August 2019

EV and PHEV Financial Incentives

There are no EV/PHEV financial incentives in Manitoba.

Last reviewed: August 2019

“EV Ready” Building Code

There are no building code provisions regarding EV/PHEV charging infrastructure.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Industry See All

In recognition that the industrial sector is highly varied across Canada, this database tracks policies that are broadly applicable to all industrial subsectors and provinces.

Energy Management

Manitoba Hydro offers a number of programs targetting industrial energy efficiency improvements, including the Bioenergy Optimization program, the Natural Gas Optimization program, and the Performance Optimization program.  The latter two projects support energy audits, and the former provides support for industrial combined heat and power.

Additionally, an Energy Manager Initiative (EMI) exists under the Performance Optimization program, providing participants with financial support for conducting energy management assessments.  These assessments may be based on ISO 50001 requirements, but it is not a requirement of the program. Technical guidance may be provided to participants of this initiative that wish to pursue the installation of an EMIS.

Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart for Business program provides a tool specifically for large industrial and commercial customers called EnerTrend. EnerTrend is an energy-profiling tool that allows facilities the opportunity to take proactive action to manage energy consumption and reduce costs. Advanced interval metering is installed at each participating facility to collect data on energy consumption.

Manitoba Hydro’s Energy Efficiency Programs department has also worked with training providers (CIET, Compressed Air Challenge, etc.) in order to bring training opportunities to Manitoba. Training courses have included CEM, BOC, CMVP, RETscreen Expert. The EMI program provides annual financial support that energy managers can access for relevant training. Manitoba Hydro has also developed and delivered workshops related to energy management activities and specific energy systems

Last reviewed: August 2019

Co-generation / Combined Heat and Power

Manitoba Hydro's Bioenergy Optimization Program helps customers convert their waste streams and by-products into fuel that produces useful heat and power.  The program assists customers to:

  • assemble a project benefit stream;
  • obtain guidance on equipment selection;
  • support ongoing system operation.

Technical services are available through the utility’s Chemical Laboratory and Customer Metering Department, in addition to an extensive network of industry contacts.

Manitoba Hydro also offers incentives to help offset project evaluation costs and the capital investment required to install a biomass-to-energy conversion system, as well as technical support.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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