PCs make energy efficiency an important pillar of green strategy

PC plan will curb Hydro rate increases, return Manitoba to its position as green leader: Pallister

March 1, 2016 – The Selinger NDP government’s approach to Manitoba Hydro is reckless and dangerous. It guarantees a focus not on conservation or energy efficiency, but on increasing rates at home while selling power at a loss to Manitoba’s competitors in the U.S. The focus should be on protecting Manitobans.

A Progressive Conservative government will return Manitoba to its place as a leader in energy efficiency and will curb increases in Hydro rates. We will establish an arm’s-length demand-side management agency with a focus on making Manitoba a leader in energy-savings programming.

“The establishment of an arm’s-length body responsible for energy efficiency recognizes an inherent conflict in Manitoba Hydro producing power while also making decisions on energy-savings targets,” said Opposition Leader Brian Pallister. “The result of this conflict is increased Hydro rates, which have risen at more than double the rate of inflation under the Selinger NDP and which are projected to at least double by 2032. We’ll address this for the benefit of rate-paying Manitobans and to create a greener province.”

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) recommended in the spring of 2014 that the government establish an independent entity responsible for developing and implementing demand-side management targets. The Selinger NDP says it has accepted this recommendation, but has taken no action on it in the nearly two years since it was made. Compounding the problem, the NDP has underspent its energy-savings budgets by nearly $50 million since 2013, according to the PUB.

Leaving the NDP and Hydro in charge of these issues is untenable, and guarantees the continuation of the short-sighted approach that gave us the BiPole III transmission line’s costly route through western Manitoba and record increases in Hydro prices for consumers.