Efficiency Manitoba Misses Plan Deadline

By Kusch, Larry | Winnipeg Free Press, October 3, 2019 | Go to article overview

Efficiency Manitoba Misses Plan Deadline


Kusch, Larry, Winnipeg Free Press


Manitobans will have to wait another month to learn how Efficiency Manitoba proposes to achieve legislated energy-savings targets for electricity and natural gas use.

The fledgling Crown corporation was due to submit its first three-year plan to the Public Utilities Board of Manitoba by Oct. 1, but never did so.

When the Free Press asked Efficiency Manitoba on Wednesday about its submission, the corporation referred a reporter to the minister responsible of Crown Services, Jeff Wharton.

Wharton, who was given responsibility for the file last week, said in an interview late in the day he wanted more time to review the submission before it went to the PUB.

He later said, through an intermediary, the provincial cabinet had, that day, amended a regulation allowing Efficiency Manitoba to submit its plans to the PUB on Nov. 1 without breaking the law.

Under rules brought in by the Pallister government, Efficiency Manitoba had to submit its three-year energy-savings proposals to the regulator six months before they took effect. The new corporation will assume responsibility for delivering energy-efficiency programming from Manitoba Hydro on April 1.

Cabinet passed a regulation Wednesday to allow Energy Manitoba to submit its proposals for the PUB for review five months before they are scheduled to take effect.

Wharton complimented Efficiency Manitoba’s board on the work it has done so far to get the corporation up and running. “The work they’ve done is fabulous. It’s great work,” he said.

He said he requested the corporation delay its submission by a month so he could be assured proper comparisons were being carried out between past energy-savings programs and the new corporation’s plans for the future. He said he also wanted to ensure the corporation’s proposals were aligned with the government’s overall policies.

Wharton said he was confident, despite the month-long delay, Efficiency Manitoba would still be able to assume its responsibility April 1.

The PUB recommended in 2014 that Manitoba Hydro divest itself of its energy-savings programs and that the province establish a new arm’s-length entity to carry out the work. …

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