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

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

In 2017, the provincial government 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 in both the electricity and natural gas sectors and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficiency Manitoba filed its first 3-year Efficiency Plan in October 2019, which was reviewed by the Public Utilities Board and received approval by the Minister of Conservation of Climate on March 31, 2020. Administration of energy efficiency programming in the province formally transferred to Efficiency Manitoba on April 1, 2020. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

Energy Efficiency Targets

The Efficiency Manitoba Act legislates long term energy efficiency savings targets over 15 years (2020-2035) of minimum net annual electricity savings at least equal to 1.5% of electricity consumption in the immediately preceding year, and minimum net annual natural gas savings equal to 0.75% of natural gas consumption in the immediately preceding year.

Any shortfalls and surpluses in annual net savings 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.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

The Efficiency Manitoba Act gives Efficiency Manitoba the responsibility to execute and promote demand side management programs in Manitoba. The Act defines the mandate as 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)).

Manitoba Hydro provides system marginal cost information to Efficiency Manitoba for their use in developing energy efficiency programs. Efficiency Manitoba provides annual capacity and energy savings to Manitoba Hydro, which are incorporated into the resource planning process as a supply side resource.

Manitoba Hydro annually prepares a supply and demand analysis document with updated load forecast, energy efficiency forecast, and existing resource assumptions to determine the potential requirement for additional resources beyond the committed energy efficiency resources.

The need for new resources in Manitoba is driven by Manitoba Hydro’s planning criteria which specifies a planning reserve margin above peak load net of energy efficiency. In addition to the capacity criterion, as a predominately hydro system, Manitoba Hydro is required to plan to have adequate energy resources to supply its firm energy demand in the event of a design drought.

In 2022 the province noted that it is moving towards an Integrated Resource Planning process. Manitoba Hydro is in the midst of developing its first Integrated Resource Plan that is anticipate to be completed in 2023.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Efficiency Potential Study and Energy Planning

Efficiency Manitoba develops energy efficiency plans on a three-year cycle. They submitted the 2020-2023 Energy Efficiency Plan to the regulator on October 25th, 2019. The plan was approved in 2020. The forecast DSM savings (electric energy, electric capacity, natural gas energy) were provided to Manitoba Hydro to include in its resource planning process.

Efficiency Manitoba issued an RFP for an integrated DSM market potential study and bids closed May 20, 2021. They are in the process of completing an integrated market potential study that will inform its future energy efficiency plans and will provide the basis for information used as an input in Manitoba Hydro's integrated resource plan. This integrated study includes energy efficiency, fuel switching, distributed generation, demand response and electric vehicles.

Manitoba Hydro is in the midst of developing its first Integrated Resource Plan that is anticipate to be completed in 2023.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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.

Both tests are completed at the portfolio level. Overall cost-effectiveness of the Efficiency Manitoba electric and natural gas portfolios were demonstrated within the approved 2020-23 Efficiency Plan to have a PACT greater than 1.0.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

Efficiency Manitoba has contracted with a third-party evaluator to evaluate all programs and initiatives in the 2020-23 Efficiency Plan which is required by the Efficiency Manitoba Act 16 (1). Each year of the three-year plan will be evaluated using industry best practices methodologies (such as the UMP). The electric energy and capacity savings, and natural gas savings along with the cost-effectiveness of the savings will be evaluated and compared to planned values.

Efficiency Manitoba followed industry best practices for their Evaluation Framework, including an evaluation budget that represents 1.7% of the total DSM budget.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Support for Low-income Energy Efficiency Programs

Efficiency Manitoba's regulation (Section 14) states that, as of April 1, 2020, Efficiency Manitoba must only use the Affordable Energy Fund to encourage and realize efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of home heating fuels other than electrical energy or natural gas, and not for any other purpose. As a result, the Affordable Energy Fund no longer supports low-income programs.

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. This fund, called the Furnace Replacement Budget, has a set amount that will continue to support the installation of high-efficiency furnaces in low income homes until the fund is depleted.

The Efficiency Manitoba Regulation requires that, if possible, at least 5% of Efficiency Manitoba's budget for demand-side management efforts be given to programs aimed at low-income or difficult-to-reach consumers. This would include Indigenous consumers who qualify for low-income programming. According to Efficiency Manitoba's three-year strategy, 6% of the electric efficiency budget and 30% of the natural gas efficiency budget will be dedicated to low-income and hard-to-reach clients.

The Energy Efficiency Assistance Program of Efficiency Manitoba is an income-based program aimed at lower-income Manitobans. The program has a budget of $7.1 million for the year 2020 and $7.65 million for 2021. If a home qualifies, it may be eligible for free insulation, natural gas furnaces, high-efficiency boilers, or energy efficient clothes washer. The program also offers modest energy-saving gadgets like low-flow showerheads and LEDs.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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

PACE Financing
No policies identified

Manitoba Hydro's Home Energy Efficiency Loan program offers residential customers on-bill financing for energy efficient upgrades, including for technologies that may be eligible for Efficiency Manitoba incentive programs. The program offers loans of up to $7,500 ($10,000 to $20,000 for heat pumps and photovoltaic systems) at 4.8% for the first five years. Repayment terms range from five to 15 years depending on upgrade type.

Manitoba Hydro's Energy Finance Plan offers on-bill financing of up to $5,000 for gas and electrical systems upgrades to residential, farm, small commercial, and seasonal customers, at an interest rate of 6.75% over a maximum five-years term. Qualifying upgrades include conventional air source heat pumps, and electric and natural gas furnaces/boilers.

Efficiency Manitoba's Energy Efficiency Assistance Programs offers income qualified households who want to upgrade their standard or mid-efficiency furnace will receive a new high efficiency natural gas furnace for $9.50 per month for five years ($570 total), or $25 per month for five years ($1500 total) when upgraded from a mid-efficiency furnace.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Research and Development

Dedicated innovation funding

Efficiency Manitoba’s current three-year DSM Plan includes an Innovation and Research Fund that was allocated $2.14 million to provide funding for pilot projects and research partnerships. The fund was launched in 2021, with first enrolment providing $500,000 to support RD&D energy efficiency projects.

Pilots, projects and demonstrations

In 20221, Efficiency Manitoba's Innovation fund supported several RD&D energy efficiency projects including innovations with respect to ground source heat pumps, external building insulation, and market capacity development for a passive house certified housing co-op.

Program innovation

Efficiency Manitoba has a deep energy retrofit pilot program to target buildings requiring comprehensive upgrades and enhancements and is currently implementing a new demand-side management tracking system to optimize program delivery and deployment. In June 2021, Efficiency Manitoba began offering residential customers a virtual home energy assessment tool.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Lead by example


Manitoba has a GHG reduction target of 45,000 tCO2e for the 5 year Carbon Savings Account period (2018-2022). The reduction target applies to total reductions from buildings and fleet.

Manitoba's Green Building Program establishes requirements for government funded projects. It requires
Buildings be designed to a targeted energy efficiency level of at least 10% better than the Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings. Building design must achieve the targeted level of energy efficiency verified by achieving designation under the Efficiency Manitoba, New Buildings Program.

All government reporting entities (departments, school divisions, health authorities, colleges, universities, Manitoba Housing and crowns) must track and report annual building energy use, water use and fuel use for greenhouse gas emission reporting required under the Climate and Green Plan Act. Not all reporting entities use a energy management program/software however many investigating options.

Vehicle Fleets
A fleet vehicle reorganization program was announced in October 2018 will removed 400 vehicles from the governments fleet. Staff are be encouraged to reduce travel time by using video and conference calls when possible. Monitoring devices (AVL) have been installed in passenger vehicles to track practices such as idling, speed, and fuel consumption. Currently government departments monitor employee driving behaviors in efforts to influence fuel efficient driving to reduce fuel use and costs, vehicle maintenance and GHGs.

Manitoba's Climate and Green Plan Act established the Low Carbon Government Office (LCGO). It has a mandate to track and report GHG emissions for buildings, fleet and equipment. LCGO also has responsibilities to recommend "opportunities" that will reduce government's GHG emissions and promote sustainable operations in each of the following areas: procurement, building design, contruction and maintenance, fleet emission reduction, information and IT and waste reduction and management at government operations.

Last reviewed: November 2021

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. An analysis was performed on various roll out scenarios in 2019 but no investment decision has yet been made. Few customers, electric or natural gas, residential or non-residential, have two-way meters installed.

In April 2022, Manitoba Hydro released a request for proposal to seek consulting services related to Advanced Metering Infrastructure on an 'as and then requested' basis for a five-year term. The first objective under this consulting service agreement is for the development of a business case for AMI. The utility's EnerTrend tool for large industrial and commercial customers utilizes advanced interval metering to collect consumption data.

Non-wires alternatives / Geo-targeting

Distribution and transmission planning processes allow for but do not require non-wires/pipes solutions to be included in the evaluation of options to meet local/regional investment in infrastructure.

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.

Some 'smart wire' solutions have been recommended on the transmission system, and the utility is exploring energy storage potential in the transmission system as well, but there appears to be no geotargeting of energy efficiency or demand response.

Conservation voltage reduction
Manitoba Hydro does not use conservation voltage reduction

Last reviewed: November 2022

Carbon Pricing

The federal carbon price backstop and industrial output-based pricing systems are currently in place in Manitoba.  The province therefore does not have direct control over the use of carbon pricing revenues.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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.

On October 20, 2022, the Government of Manitoba announced it will adopted the 2020 model codes (including the National Building Code) as soon as practically possible.

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.

On October 20, 2022, the Government of Manitoba announced it will adopted the 2020 model codes (including the National Energy Code of Canada) as soon as practically possible.

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: November 2022

Building Code Compliance

Between 2015 and 2016 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. 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.

In 2022, the Government of Manitoba and Efficiency Manitoba reported that projects submitted to the Green Building Program, and the New Buildings Program (commercial) and New Homes Program (residential), require a building code compliance review. Efficiency Manitoba also provides an energy modeling incentive for projects submitted under the New Buildings Program (commercial). Modelling software must meet NECB (2011) requirements. Subject matter experts are available at Efficiency Manitoba to discuss code interpretation.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Home Energy Rating and Disclosure

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

Last reviewed: November 2022

Building Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory large building energy rating and disclosure: Yes (City of Winnipeg - government buildings)
Voluntary building benchmarking and transparency program: Yes

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.

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.

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.

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

As part of its commitment to Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan, the City of Winnipeg (City) has created the Building Energy Disclosure Project (BEDP). This initiative is aimed at helping Winnipeg commercial and institutional building owners better understand the energy performance of their buildings while supporting overall reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption. 

Efficiency Manitoba offers free-of-charge Energy Efficiency Assessments of industrial, commercial and agricultural facilities. 

Last reviewed: November 2022

Appliance and Equipment Market Transformation


Space Heating Windows Water Heating
Research and development Field performance monitoring of central ducted cold climate heat pumps in three Winnipeg homes in 2016 and 2017. - Field performance monitoring of heat pump water heaters installed in two customer homes in 2016
Pilots and demonstrations - Efficiency Manitoba, Red River College, and industry partners obtained an NSERC grant to study cold climate installation techniques. One goal of this research is to develop practical installation guidelines to reduce thermal bridging at the window/wall junction. -
Information and awareness - Manitoba Hydro developed and led industry-sponsored presentations to educate industry on the benefits of high-performance windows, including customized presentations for individual companies to assist sales and marketing staff in promoting these products.  This work will continue at Efficiency Manitoba. -
Technology and installation training Manitoba Hydro and Efficiency Manitoba Earth Energy/Ground Source Heat Pump incentive programs require participating contractors and installers be members of the Manitoba Geothermal Energy Alliance (MGEA). Fenestration Manitoba provides ongoing training opportunities for all aspects of its business, from sales to installation. -
Upstream or downstream incentives Manitoba Hydro has provided downstream incentives for ground source heat pumps for several years. Efficiency Manitoba plans to switch to upstream incentives paid directly to distributors. Efficiency Manitoba provides downstream incentives.

Manitoba Hydro has promoted high efficiency condensing water heaters and provided downstream incentives to commercial customers.

Efficiency Manitoba will continue promoting them, but will be switching to upstream incentives direct to distributors.

Regulation, codes and standards Manitoba Hydro has participated in the CSA technical committee developing the EXP-07 and EXP-10 standards. Manitoba Hydro and Efficiency Manitoba staff are active participants in the development of the National Energy Code for Buildings at both the sub-committee (SC-EE) and task group (TG-BE) levels. -

Last reviewed: August 2020

Appliance and Equipment Standards

Manitoba harmonizes with federal appliance and equipment energy efficiency regulations, except for gas furnaces and boilers. The provincial furnace efficiency regulation requirement is 92% compared to the federal regulation which is now 95%.

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.

In October 2020, Manitoba signed the Energy Efficiency Requirements for Household Appliances Reconciliation Agreement that has been endorsed by Canada and other jurisdictions such as ON, BC, QC, NS and NB. This RCT agreement will provide greater certainty to industry as well as eliminate and prevent interprovincial trade barriers to household appliances.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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 zero-emission vehicle mandate in Manitoba.

Last reviewed: November 2022

Electric Vehicle Charging Program

Manitoba Hydro has a home energy efficiency loan for the installation of residential-use Level 2 chargers, with $3000 as the maximum loan amount.

Last reviewed: November 2022

EV and PHEV Financial Incentives

There are no EV/PHEV incentives in Manitoba.

Last reviewed: November 2022

“EV Ready” Building Code

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

Last reviewed: November 2022

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

Efficiency Manitoba launched a Strategic Energy Management Initiative in 2020 with a salary path (support for an embedded energy manager) or a performance path (incentives based on realized energy savings). The program aims to help participants develop a strategic energy plan, targets, and key performance indicators. Energy efficiency specialists support planning and implementation activities.

The program is not based on internationally recognized standards and does not require ISO-50001 certification, but instead aims to develop the internal capacity and processes that could help lower barriers to certification.

Last reviewed: November 2022

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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