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Reality Check

RC-21: Does Manitoba Have an Energy Plan?

Date Posted: July 27, 2011

The Province of Manitoba does not have an energy plan, or specific public policy about domestic energy needs, and conservation targets. Nor is there a new renewable portfolio standard or mandated targets for new renewable energy production in the province. Ideally an energy plan would reflect long term planning, goals for different sectors over time, targets, reports back, and criteria for how profits from Manitoba Hydro would be used.

Manitoba Hydro has a 'demand-side' energy conservation strategy called 'Power Smart'. Power Smart 'saves' energy through efficiency improvements rather than new sources of generation. Power Smart promotes energy efficient products, services and programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Other programs such as geothermal energy installations and northern home retro-fits are also handled through Manitoba Hydro.

In spring 2002, the Manitoba government established an Energy Divisions within the Department of Innovation, Energy and Mines. The Energy Division overseas numerous initiatives pertaining to alternative energy options such as wind, solar, ethanol, geothermal, hydrogen, and electric-powered transportation, etc.

In March 2006, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce convention passed a resolution, 'An Energy Plan for Manitoba', at its 75th Annual General Meeting. The resolution called for a public dialogue to arrive at an energy plan for Manitoba.

Manitoba Wildlands recommends Manitoba conduct a public process to provide a plan for; domestic energy needs, conservation targets, public debt tolerance, new projects, and a renewable portfolio standard for alternative energy sources.

In Manitoba Wildlands "2007 Pre-Election Survey" all three opposition parties committed themselves to establishing an energy plan for Manitoba if they were to form government. The governing NDP stopped short of saying yes to an energy plan, but promised: "A re-elected NDP government will report regularly on the status of its energy initiatives."

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