August 17, 2017


26° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast


Advertise With Us

Hydro pays for retrofits, puts them on your tab

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/5/2012 (1926 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba Hydro wants to pay for the upfront costs of insulating your old house or replacing your cash-burning furnace.

The program, to be launched in September, will pay for a customer's energy and water retrofits and then recover the money over time on their monthly utility bill.

Home owner Bert Heinrichs  (left) talks with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.


Home owner Bert Heinrichs (left) talks with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.

"You'll be able to finance an improvement to your home that will pay an immediate benefit in a saving," Premier Greg Selinger said Tuesday. "This will help many homeowners put in the kinds of things that will allow them to save and conserve energy and have an immediate benefit."

Selinger said attaching the improvements' cost to the meter, rather than extending a loan, gives homeowners more flexibility to do the work as it gives them a longer time to pay back Hydro at a modest interest rate.

The program is mostly aimed at insulation upgrades to older homes. There are about 65,000 homes in the province that need the work. It will also offset the cancellation of the federal energy-retrofit program earlier this year.

"This new financing option opens it up to even more people to be able to do energy improvements to their home," Selinger said. "They don't have to have a loan that is paid off within five years, which may cost more in the short run than the energy improvements. The way this is structured, they'll get that benefit right away."

Manitoba Hydro's Lloyd Kuczek, vice-president of customer care and marketing, said the advantage to the homeowner is it's not a hit in the pocketbook to get the work done. It also helps sell a home, if the customer is thinking of moving, because the upgrades have been done.

"We would create a monthly charge that would go over a period of time," he said. "For a furnace, it would likely be over a 20 or 25-year period of time because that's roughly the life of a furnace."

Kuczek also said if a customer gets work done through the program, their monthly bill will stay essentially the same because of an energy efficiency improvement charge added to the bill.

For example, if the cost to heat your house drops to $80 a month from $100 after the work is done, you'll still pay $100 because of a $20 improvement charge.

"The $20 pays Hydro back for the capital investment we're making," Kuczek said.

Selinger also repeated an election promise to guarantee the province's utility rates will remain the lowest in the country.

He said by the end of September, the government will issue a report comparing the cost of electricity, home heating and auto insurance with the rates in other provinces.

"We'll just have an independent auditor verify that on an annual basis and report that, so people can have some confidence that we're paying attention to that promise," Selinger said.


Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Photo Store

Scroll down to load more