Ashley Nichol, Author at Efficiency Manitoba

2021 ANNUAL PUBLIC MEETING

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our virtual public meeting on Wednesday, March 24, 2021! We appreciated the opportunity to engage with you and answer your questions

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR QUESTION & ANSWER PERIOD

We received a lot of great questions during our meeting. Here are our responses to some of these questions (others are answered in the public meeting recording linked above):

Q: Will Efficiency Manitoba offer programs or incentives for electric vehicles or charging stations?

A: Currently, our mandate is to pursue electricity and natural gas savings in homes and businesses. However, the Efficiency Manitoba Act also states other activities including electric demand, potable water consumption, and fossil fuels used for transport can be added to our mandate if prescribed through regulation. So even though electric vehicle programs and incentives aren’t currently within our scope, that could potentially change in the future.

Q: Will Efficiency Manitoba offer incentives for solar energy?

A: Yes! We’ll be launching a solar energy program in the 2022/23 fiscal year. Rebates will be provided to customers who install an approved grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system to an existing building. The rebate will be based on displaced energy on a per-kilowatt-hour basis.

Q: Will Efficiency Manitoba offer incentives on ground source heat pumps and/or air source heat pumps?

A: We’re working to launch our ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps programs in 2021. Our rebates will help with the upfront cost of installation and will be based on the heating load covered by the system.

Q: Do you plan to offer programs for First Nations people that aren’t part of a band or don’t live on a reserve?

A: Yes – we’re looking at developing and launching a First Nation off-reserve program in the 2021/22 fiscal year. It will be similar to our current Income Qualified offers, which include a home energy check-up, basic energy-saving items, and larger insulation, appliance, and heating system upgrades if the home qualifies.

Q: Why doesn’t Efficiency Manitoba offer rebates for installing high-efficiency natural gas furnaces?

A: Our programs are used to encourage industry, suppliers, and consumers to adopt and accept new energy-efficient technologies. In doing this, we help transform the market towards being more energy efficient. Historical energy efficiency programming for furnaces was effective on a national scale, and since 2009, the provincial government has required all replacement natural gas furnaces and boilers to be high-efficiency units. As a result, further rebates and programs aren’t needed to encourage energy-efficient decision making.

Q: Will you offer carbon tax credits to Manitobans who make natural gas-saving upgrades?

A: Manitobans who participate in our natural gas programs will see a reduction in their energy bills and in the federal carbon charges collected on natural gas usage. The positive impact of paying less for both energy and carbon tax are realized immediately.

COLLEEN’S CORNER: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Just like that, another year has come and (almost) gone! As we enter the holiday season, I immediately think about the many things I’m grateful for. This festive time of year reminds me of the many things we navigated and accomplished in 2021 – not just as an organization, but as a province.

Becoming Manitoba’s one-stop shop for energy efficiency hasn’t been easy! Since we became operational in April 2020, we’ve only known one environment: that of a global pandemic. Health and safety remained a top priority throughout 2021, and we continually adjusted our plans to address the unique environment in which we continue to operate. We rolled out a comprehensive suite of efficiency programs that are ready for Manitobans looking to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs.

It’s been a pleasure working with our talented team of experts to set Manitobans up for success in 2022. We have new programs and enhanced offers coming next year, all developed with a lens of serving our customers. Energy efficiency has an important role to play in Manitoba’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Our work results in meaningful energy bill savings for Manitobans and supports green job creation in the ever-growing energy efficiency industry.

We continue to be committed to helping all Manitobans save energy, money, and the environment.

I don’t think any of us could have predicted that COVID-19 would continue to be such a prominent part of our lives nearly two years later. However, I believe the pandemic has shown us what truly matters in life. I’ve learned just how much I value my relationships with family, friends, and my colleagues. Our connections with the people in our lives provide the love, support, and encouragement to forge ahead in even the most challenging times.

During this unique holiday season, celebrate what’s in front of you and all around. Enjoy quiet time with friends and family while making new memories and celebrating new traditions. Most importantly, stay safe and healthy. We’re excited to work with you in 2022 and beyond.

Colleen Kuruluk

Chief Executive Officer, Efficiency Manitoba

Holiday gift ideas

Efficiency Manitoba Gift Guide

The holidays are upon us, and reaching the end of your festive to-do list might feel like an enormous task. Between baking, writing cards, and managing all your other responsibilities, you might find yourself thinking – “did I even finish buying presents?”

If you haven’t, don’t sweat. Rather than stocking up on the usual gift cards and chocolates, think outside the box and inside the home. Energy-saving gadgets can be fun and unexpected gifts for the loved ones in your life. Not only are you helping to do your part to save energy and the environment, but you’ll definitely earn some “cool” points from your friends and family.

Here are some energy-saving holiday gift ideas (whether for someone on your list or for yourself!):

SMART THERMOSTAT

If you know someone that’s looking to automate their home, consider giving them a smart thermostat. These Wi-Fi connected thermostats can be controlled from your smart device whether you’re in the comfort of your living room or away from home. Features vary between brands, but many can learn from your behaviours to set a schedule, give you data about your home’s energy use, and communicate with other smart home devices and appliances.

Read this article to learn more about how smart thermostats work!

SMART LED LIGHTING

Customizing the lighting system in your home has never been easier! Smart LED lighting systems connect to your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and let you control your light functions and colour from your smart device. Some can even be synced to movies or music, so this is the perfect gift for the entertainment enthusiast in your life.

SMART PLUGS

Smart plugs can be added to existing outlets to provide Wi-Fi connectivity. When you plug lamps, small appliances, or electronics into the smart plug, you can control their functions through your smart device. You might even want to pick one up for yourself – use it for your holiday tree and then for your small appliances and electronics in the new year!

SMART OUTLETS

Smart outlets work similarly to smart plugs, but they’re installed directly into your wall to replace your traditional power outlets. They’re a streamlined alternative with all the same smart functionality.

VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

Virtual assistants, like the Amazon Alexa and the Google Home, are a great way to coordinate the use of all your smart home devices. Turn down your thermostat, turn on your lights, and illuminate your tree, all by using voice commands.

ADVANCED POWER STRIPS

Do you have a friend or family member that has a bunch of entertainment gadgets? An advanced power strip might be just the thing they need. Unlike traditional power strips that provide extra outlets and surge protection, advanced power strips shut down devices that normally go into standby mode when not in use. Simply plug your computer into the main outlet and your associated devices (like your printer) into the controlled outlets. When you turn your computer off, you automatically turn off power to your other devices.

CAR PLUG TIMERS

Did you know your block heater may only need to operate for three hours before starting your car, even on the coldest nights? An outdoor car plug timer can reduce wasted energy – and it makes a great stocking stuffer!


Give the gift of energy savings this holiday season. Energy-saving devices will save money for years to come, so they’re truly gifts that keep on giving!

Loveday Mushroom Farms

COOLER SAVINGS AT LOVEDAY MUSHROOM FARMS

During the cold Manitoba winters, Burton Loveday, President of Loveday Mushroom Farms, used to run two air-cooled chillers to satisfy the cooling requirements in his mushroom growing rooms. However, they were using a lot of energy and driving up his energy bills.

Loveday worked with their refrigeration contractor and Efficiency Manitoba team members to find an energy-efficient solution. They looked at ways to capitalize on the colder outdoor air temperatures during the winter months and use the cold air from outside instead of the chillers to cool process water. Together, they recognized that Loveday could use a new dry fluid cooler instead of the chillers when outdoor temperatures were lower than -4°C. Plus, they were able to apply for an incentive through Efficiency Manitoba!

Energy loggers were installed on the chillers and dry cooler to help verify the savings. Loveday’s electricity bill decreased, and the verified energy savings were even better than expected.

CULTIVATING SAVINGS

  • Efficiency Manitoba incentive: $44,300
  • Annual electric energy savings: 295,417 kWh
  • Annual energy bill and maintenance savings: $13,000
  • The amount of time it’ll take for this project to pay for itself after the incentive is applied: 4 years

BIG SAVINGS, ONE HAPPY CUSTOMER

“Mushroom farming is by nature recycling or taking waste products or byproducts of agriculture and turning it into a food product. So being more energy efficient is just a natural follow through of that process.” – Burton Loveday, President of Loveday Mushroom Farms

WHAT’S NEXT?

Loveday Mushroom Farms is looking at expanding their operations in Springfield, including the installation of another dry cooler. They’re continuing to work with us to find ways to save energy and are investigating other relevant Efficiency Manitoba programs.

ABOUT LOVEDAY MUSHROOM FARMS

Since 1932, Loveday Mushroom Farms has been harvesting a variety of mushrooms in Winnipeg and Springfield. They are a fourth-generation family-owned farm with one million square feet of planted space, six million pounds of mushrooms harvested annually, and a focus on continuous improvement.

BUSINESS LIGHTING CONTROLS

HOW TO INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY WITH LIGHTING CONTROLS

One of the best and often overlooked ways to increase a building’s energy efficiency is by using lighting controls. Lighting controls can automate your lighting systems, providing you with significant energy savings.

Lighting controls may seem like a large investment at first. However, there are many affordable options available, and you’ll save time, money, and energy in the long run.

TYPES OF LIGHTING CONTROLS

  • On/off switching
  • Occupancy/vacancy sensors
  • Daylight sensors
  • Dimmers
  • Scheduling & time-tracking devices

BENEFITS OF LIGHTING CONTROLS

Increased energy efficiency and decreased energy costs

The less time your lights are on, the less energy you use. You can program, schedule, or use sensors to turn off your lighting when a room is empty. Dimmers allow you to maintain a reduced level of light output when maximum output is not required, further reducing your energy use.

Improved safety

Lighting controls help ensure that light coverage is where it should be at all times. For example, a sensor can trigger your lighting to turn on when someone enters your building at night. These controls can help prevent avoidable incidents like tripping and can also be used to alert security breaches.

Increased life of LEDs

When you use lighting controls, you can significantly increase the life of your LED lighting. Not only are you using less energy, but your LEDs will tend to run cooler, further increasing their useful life. The increased life of your lighting means less time and money spent on maintenance.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Coverage and sensitivity

When installing your lighting controls, it’s important to ensure they’re in an appropriate location so that your lights won’t accidentally shut off while the space is being used.

Compatibility

It’s also important to make sure your controls are compatible with electrical, mechanical, and environmental components. Not all lighting systems and control systems are compatible.

READY TO INSTALL LIGHTING CONTROLS AT YOUR BUSINESS?

We provide incentives to cover up to 100% of the material cost for eligible lighting controls.

LIGHTING DISPOSAL

HOW TO PROPERLY DISPOSE OF YOUR LIGHTING PRODUCTS

When it’s time to dispose of your lighting products, you can’t always just toss them in the trash. Many lighting products have specific disposal instructions, and some can be recycled. Following proper disposal practices helps ensure hazardous waste doesn’t harm anyone or contaminate the environment.

Here’s a guide to help you properly dispose of and recycle hazardous materials:

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

There are two types of hazardous waste in lighting products:

  • Mercury
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)

MERCURY

Most lamps that contain mercury either have a label that states “contains mercury” or the symbol “Hg” in a circle. The following lamps contain mercury:

  • Linear fluorescent lamps
  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps including mercury vapour, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium
  • Neon/argon lamps

Proper disposal of lamps containing mercury

Lamps containing mercury should be sent to, or picked up by a waste contractor.

If you have a lamp that’s still intact, place it in its original packaging and label it accordingly. If your lamp is broken, it should be treated as contaminated waste material. Put it in a sealable, non-metal container marked “broken lamp – contains mercury”.

The following companies can help you properly dispose of lamps containing mercury:

Clean Harbors

Environmental Disposal Solutions

Miller Environmental Corporation

Product Care Recycling

PCBs

Before throwing out a lamp ballast, contact the manufacturer. They use distinct catalogue and date codes to identify products and check if hazardous materials are present. The following ballasts may contain PCBs:

  • Linear fluorescent ballasts manufactured before 1981
  • HID ballasts manufactured before 1981

Proper disposal of ballasts containing PCBs

Ballasts should only be removed by qualified personnel and only after the circuit has been de-energized. Once removed, place ballasts into a heavy mil, clear plastic bag. Next, place the bag into a labeled 205 litre steel waste drum with a sealable gasket lid, or a labeled 20 litre white plastic pail with a locking lid. Check with your waste contractor for labeling instructions.

The following companies can help you properly dispose of ballasts containing PCBs:

Clean Harbors

Miller Environmental Corporation

NON-HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

It’s always a good idea to carefully dispose of your lighting products, even when they’re not hazardous.

Incandescent & halogen lamps

Since incandescent and halogen bulbs are non-toxic, you can place them in your regular garbage. Be mindful of glass shards when throwing these away.

LED lamps

LEDs are non-toxic and can also be thrown out with your regular garbage; however, some parts of LEDs can be recycled. We recommend calling local disposal companies to see if they accept and recycle LEDs.

The following company can help you properly dispose of non-hazardous materials:

Environmental Disposal Solutions

LIGHTING FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LEDs FOR YOUR BUSINESS

If you’re looking to upgrade the lighting in your building, LEDs are the energy efficient choice. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are semiconductor devices that convert electrical energy into light. They are a durable and long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting option. They don’t contain any moving parts, filaments, lead, or mercury, and they perform well in cooler temperatures. Best of all, LEDs use much less energy than traditional lighting sources, resulting in a lower energy bill!

There are many different types of LEDs to choose from. In this article, we break down the different types of LEDs along with their benefits and things to consider before making a purchase.

And remember, if you’re interested in upgrading the lighting at your business, we provide incentives! Learn more about our Business Lighting Program.

LED SCREW-IN LAMPS & SPECIALITY LAMPS

LED screw-in lamps and specialty lamps replace line voltage (incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)) and ballasted high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps.

Benefits:

  • They use less energy than traditional lamps.
  • They last longer than traditional lamps.
  • They come in many different colour temperatures.
  • They radiate very little heat.
  • They provide directional lighting.
  • They’re environmentally friendly and don’t contain hazardous materials.

Things to consider:

  • If your new lamp is being used with an existing control/dimming system, make sure it’s compatible.
  • LEDs may not work well in high-heat environments

LED LINEAR LAMPS

LED linear lamps replace fluorescent (T12, T8, T5) linear lamps.

Benefits:

  • They use less energy than fluorescent lamps.
  • They last longer than traditional lamps.
  • They won’t need to be replaced as often as traditional lamps.
  • They come in many different colour temperatures.
  • They radiate very little heat.
  • They provide directional lighting.
  • They’re environmentally friendly and don’t contain hazardous materials.
  • The ceiling cavity isn’t disturbed during installation.

Things to consider:

  • If you’re using a Type A lamp, make sure it is compatible with your existing ballast.
  • If you’re using a Type B lamp, the fixtures must be recertified after the ballast is removed.
  • If your new lamp is being used with an existing control/dimming system, make sure it’s compatible.
  • LEDs may not work well in high-heat environments.

LED FIXTURES

LED fixtures replace hardwired HID, incandescent, halogen, CFL, or linear fluorescent fixtures.

Benefits:

  • They use less energy than traditional fixtures.
  • They last longer than traditional lamps.
  • They come in many different colour temperatures.
  • They radiate very little heat.
  • They reach full brightness immediately.
  • They’re environmentally friendly and don’t contain hazardous materials.
  • They have sealed construction requiring minimal ongoing maintenance.
  • Slim profiles are available, which can increase free space in a ceiling cavity.

Things to consider:

  • They cost more to purchase, but you’ll save money in the long term.
  • If your new fixture is being used with an existing control/dimming system, make sure it’s compatible.
  • LEDs may not work well in high-heat environments.

LED RETROFIT KTS

LED retrofit kits add new technology to the existing housing of hardwired HID, incandescent, halogen, CFL, or linear fluorescent fixtures.

Benefits:

  • They use less energy than traditional fixtures.
  • They last longer than traditional lamps.
  • They come in many different colour temperatures.
  • They radiate very little heat.
  • They reach full brightness immediately.
  • The ceiling cavity isn’t disturbed during installation.
  • They’re environmentally friendly and don’t contain hazardous materials.

Things to consider:

  • Make sure the retrofit kit is compatible with your existing fixture.
  • LEDs may not work well in high-heat environments.

LED BACKLIT SIGNS

LED backlit signs replace neon or fluorescent tubes.

Benefits:

  • They use less energy than traditional signs.
  • They last longer than traditional signs.
  • Less system changes and disruptions are required.
  • They come in many different colour temperatures.
  • They’re environmentally friendly and don’t contain hazardous materials.
  • They use lower voltage wires.
  • Electrical connections ensure that an outage of one LED doesn’t affect the entire system.

Things to consider:

  • They cost more to purchase, but you’ll save money in the long term.

READY TO UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING?

We provide incentives for eligible lighting upgrades!

AGRICULTURAL LIGHTING

HOW TO CHOOSE LIGHTING FOR YOUR AGRICULTURAL INSTALLATION

Choosing the right lighting system for your agricultural installation can decrease your costs and increase the safety and efficiency of your production process. Since the agricultural environment is unique, it’s important to consider specific factors before installation.

Here are some things to consider when choosing lighting for your agricultural installation:

TEMPERATURE

Lighting shouldn’t be operated at temperatures above the manufacturer’s specified rating. When a building’s temperature increases, the life of the lighting components decreases. To improve cooling, lower (suspend) fixtures from the ceiling to create space for heat to rise and encourage airflow.

LAMP RATING

Lamps in barn environments are typically installed in enclosed fixtures, meaning they may have restricted airflow. This can lead to the lamps overheating, resulting in damage or lighting system failure. Buying lamps that are rated for your fixtures can help to relieve this issue.

INGRESS PROTECTION (IP) RATING

Ingress protection (IP) is the degree to which a fixture is protected and sealed against dust and moisture. Since barn environments have more dust and moisture, it’s important to pay attention to the IP rating when purchasing light fixtures. The table below shows the most common IP ratings for light fixtures.

IP LEVELPROTECTION AGAINST SOLID PARTICLESPROTECTION AGAINST MOISTURE/WATER
IP44Protected against a solid object greater than 1 mm (for example, a piece of wire cable). Protected against water splashing from all directions. 
IP65Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture. Protected against water projected by jet spray valves. 
IP66Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture. Protected against rough bodies of water and/or water projected by jet spray valves. 
IP67Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture. Protected against water immersion up to 1 m for a maximum of 30 minutes.

CORROSION RESISTANCE

The corrosive environment in barns breaks down both metal parts and the electronic components inside the fixtures. Due to ammonia, barns tend to have higher than normal rates of corrosion. Make sure the fixture or lamp you’re purchasing is rated for corrosive environments.

COMPATIBILITY

There are many different types of controls available for lighting systems. If you have an existing control system, take note of the minimum load rating and make sure your new fixtures or lamps are compatible with the system. If your new lighting load is less than the controller minimum rating, upgrade the controller instead of increasing your load.

WARRANTY

Talk to your supplier or distributor to ensure that your warranty applies to your intended lighting application. Warranties may have specific exclusions and conditions, so it’s important to know what exactly is covered. Keep your invoices and warranty documents in a safe place so you have them handy if you need to make a claim.

READY TO UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING?

We provide incentives for eligible lighting upgrades!

Efficiency Manitoba provides cost-effective energy savings during the pandemic: programs are available for Manitobans

On November 16, 2021, Efficiency Manitoba published the supplement to their 2020/21 Annual Report, providing independently verified 2020/21 energy savings information associated with their first operational year coincident with the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Verified electric energy and natural gas savings were tabulated by independent expert assessor Econoler, selected through a competitive public procurement process. The verified results show that in Efficiency Manitoba’s first year of operations, net electricity savings of 227.4 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and net natural gas savings of 7.01 million cubic metres (m3) were achieved. This represents 69% of Efficiency Manitoba’s annual electric energy savings target and 60% of the annual natural gas savings target.

These energy savings were obtained with approximately 43% of Efficiency Manitoba’s budget, resulting in energy savings achieved more cost effectively than anticipated in the first year of their inaugural three-year efficiency plan.

“Manitobans have faced enormous challenges over the last 18 months,” said Dr. Jeannette Montufar, Chair of Efficiency Manitoba’s Board of Directors. “While navigating the pandemic during the organization’s first operational year, Efficiency Manitoba worked collaboratively with Manitobans on energy efficiency initiatives. This occurred while significant portions of the market were unavailable due to an understandable focus on health, safety, and other pandemic-related priorities. Efficiency Manitoba has set a solid foundation for the achievement of long-term 15-year energy savings targets.”

At the conclusion of 2020/21, Efficiency Manitoba had over 30 programs and offers available to Manitobans for homes, businesses, and communities. This was achieved while continually monitoring and adjusting safety policies and procedures during the pandemic to enable participation wherever possible. During this time, Efficiency Manitoba also grew the number of private sector suppliers delivering energy efficiency programs to nearly 700, thus supporting the continuation and expansion of local green jobs.

“As we look towards a post-pandemic Manitoba, we’re here to serve and help Manitobans save on their energy bills,” said Colleen Kuruluk, Chief Executive Officer of Efficiency Manitoba. “We continue to launch exciting new initiatives, along with enhancements to existing offers.

“If you’re considering a renovation, new construction, or an improvement project within your home or business, or if you simply want to know how you can save, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you take your first or next step on your energy efficiency journey.”

The 2020/21 Annual Report and corresponding supplement can be accessed here.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE DOORS

IMPROVE YOUR HOME’S COMFORT WITH HIGH-PERFORMANCE DOORS

Make your home more comfortable by installing high-performance doors. Beyond increasing your home’s curb appeal, they’ll improve its energy efficiency and save you money each month.

If you’re considering upgrading your existing doors to high-performance models, you may be eligible to receive a rebate through our Windows and Doors Rebate offer.

UPGRADING YOUR DOORS

The first step to upgrading your doors is to take a good look at their condition. Check the ease of operation of each door, look for rot, and note the condition of any glass inserts. If a door is in reasonable condition, it may be more cost effective for you to repair and seal it rather than replacing it altogether.

How to repair existing doors

  • To reduce air leakage, caulk any gaps between the trim and wall, and make sure the weatherstripping is flexible and properly installed.
  • Replace or repair any damaged glass inserts.
  • Replace weatherstripping if it’s worn out or doesn’t seal properly.
  • Install bottom seals or sweeps on doors that don’t have sill weatherstripping.

Replacing doors

If you decide to replace any of your doors, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Buy ENERGY STAR® certified models. Not only are these doors required to meet specific requirements for quality and efficiency, but it’s also one of the requirements for a $50 rebate through our Windows and Doors Rebate offer. Browse these lists of ENERGY STAR certified doors and ENERGY STAR certified sliding glass doors on the Natural Resources Canada website.
  • Consider wood, vinyl, or fibreglass frames.
  • Source good-quality weatherstripping.
  • Plan to glaze with a low-e coating and an inert gas fill.
  • Consider triple pane glazing.

TALK TO A CONTRACTOR

Before you start shopping for high-performance doors, it might be worth speaking with an expert who can point you in the right direction and help you make sure you’re purchasing the right doors for your home.

We recommend getting quotes from at least three different contractors and choosing one that provides the best value (rather than the lowest price). Learn more about hiring a contractor.

GET A REBATE

We offer rebates on select ENERGY STAR certified doors to keep you comfortable and save you energy and money. Homeowners can get a rebate of $50 per qualifying opening when replacing existing doors.

Once you’ve installed your new high-performance doors, fill out our online application form and we’ll send you a rebate. It’s that simple.