November 27, 2006

Manitoba leads provinces in Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance annual ranking

Manitoba has been ranked as the leader among the Canadian provinces in promoting and supporting energy efficiency, having received an A grade for the second consecutive year on the annual report card of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA).

The CEEA, a leading non-governmental energy efficiency advocate, has been grading government progress on energy efficiency since 1999. It also gave Ontario a mark of B+ for 2006, a major improvement from the previous C- (see previous story).

"Five years ago, Manitoba was ranked ninth in the country," said Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau. "We've worked hard to make Manitoba an energy-efficiency leader and today our province is at the head of the class."

"What makes Manitoba so successful in the area of energy efficiency is the political will to promote and support energy efficiency," said CEEA president and CEO Ken Elsey. "Simply put, it's leadership - making a commitment and following through." The CEEA report attributes much of the province's success to Manitoba Hydro's leadership in promoting and supporting energy efficiency.

"Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart programs are widely recognized as effective, user-friendly tools for homeowners, businesses and industry to boost their energy efficiency and save significantly on energy costs," said Finance Minister Greg Selinger, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro.

Power Smart programs and initiatives have included new furnace replacement incentives, a new insulation upgrade program, an LED Christmas light campaign, a compact fluorescent light program and an aggressive new suite of commercial programs. Manitoba Hydro recently reported that its Power Smart on-bill financing program for residential energy efficiency upgrades has topped $100 million.

Rondeau said that since being awarded an A in last year's report, the government has continued actively promoting energy efficiency and clean energy development. The province is, for example, working toward the implementation of new commercial building codes. A new green buildings policy, already in effect, will require all new provincially-funded buildings to meet the internationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The government is also supporting a new green business guide to help small and medium-sized Manitoba businesses boost their energy efficiency and save money on energy costs, and is committing $3 million toward Community Places construction projects, which will boost energy efficiency in dozens of facilities across the province.

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