Up to 100% funding will be provided to ice rink facilities in Manitoba, reducing energy consumption and operating costs

Efficiency Manitoba is launching a new limited-time initiative aiming to help communities throughout the province reduce their energy bills and operating costs. Through the Community Rink Lighting Initiative, the Crown corporation will be providing funding to help multiple facilities with indoor ice rinks replace their inefficient lighting, covering up to 100% of reasonable lighting equipment and associated labour costs.

“Rinks and arenas serve as the social hub of many communities. However, many of them are operating on limited revenue streams and may not otherwise be able to benefit from energy-saving upgrades without additional financial support,” said Kevin Klein, Minister of Environment and Climate and the Minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba. “We are very pleased to see Efficiency Manitoba provide funding to help improve the energy efficiency and lighting quality of these important community meeting and recreation spaces.”

From September 1 to December 1, 2023, Efficiency Manitoba will be accepting Expressions of Interest from eligible applicants. Submissions will be reviewed and funding will be allocated to a variety of projects with the intent of supporting urban, rural, remote, and First Nation communities throughout Manitoba.

“Replacing inefficient lighting in rinks can lead to significant electricity savings,” said Colleen Kuruluk, CEO of Efficiency Manitoba. “Energy-efficient lighting over ice surfaces provides an opportunity to generate even more energy savings than typical lighting upgrades. Not only will these facilities save money upfront with Efficiency Manitoba funding, but they’ll also benefit from long-term savings on their energy bills. The reduced financial strain resulting from our support is good for the facility and the entire community.”

The advantages of improved lighting in community centres and arenas go beyond saving energy and lower bills. The improved light quality and brightness also creates a more pleasant indoor environment; shadows and glares are diminished, which benefits spectators and athletes alike. More efficient lighting has a longer useful life, resulting in decreased maintenance costs and downtime required for replacement. Additionally, inefficient lighting in these facilities tends to operate concurrently with Manitoba Hydro’s peak delivery requirement; winter evenings when energy use is at its highest. Targeting these types of facilities with efficiency improvements helps reduce strain on the electric grid.

Ongoing work with four facilities served as the catalyst for the Community Rink Lighting Initiative. When working with Deer Lodge Curling Club in Winnipeg, the communities of St. Malo and St. Pierre, and the Morden Curling Club to complete energy efficiency upgrades, Efficiency Manitoba recognized the additional financial needs experienced by these types of facilities.

“The Deer Lodge Curling Club is extremely excited to be a part of this new initiative through Efficiency Manitoba and we are grateful that they are including us in this initiative,” said Corey Thompson, Deer Lodge Curling Club President. “Curling clubs are a challenging business to run as budgets are small and money for capital improvements is tough to come by—especially coming out of the pandemic. The outdated lighting fixtures are costing the curling club thousands of dollars each month, and being able to complete this project thanks to Efficiency Manitoba will make an immediate and impactful difference on the bottom line.”

 “Communities are facing unprecedented challenges as they are still reeling from the impact of the recent pandemic; this has in turn greatly affected the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of these buildings. This Efficiency Manitoba initiative is a timely one as it will help operators achieve sustainability-focused energy solutions for their facilities,” said Dany Robidoux, Executive Director of Eco-West Canada.

Those who are interested in receiving funding through the Community Rink Lighting Initiative are encouraged to visit efficiencyMB.ca between September 1 and December 1, 2023 to submit their Expression of Interest, or email lighting@efficiencyMB.ca for more information.

About Efficiency Manitoba

Efficiency Manitoba is Manitoba’s Crown corporation dedicated to energy efficiency. With legislated long-term energy savings targets to achieve, the organization has over 40 diverse programs and offers available to help Manitobans save energy, money, and the environment.  

Release date: August 3, 2023

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