New Retrofit program will help West Broadway owners and renters

Earlier this month I was very honoured as your MLA to join Premier Selinger as he announced new legislation for Canada’s first on-meter financing program to cover the costs of water and energy efficiency retrofits in Manitoba. Though it sounds technical, let me explain why this could be a wonderful opportunity to improve your own home, apartment block, or business this Fall when the program officially begins.

Normally, when you want to fix up your property to save money on utility bills, you have to pay for it personally (either in cash or with a loan) and pay the lender back in a fairly short period of time. With on-meter financing, your property is assessed to see where the energy and water saving opportunities are, and then Manitoba Hydro will pay for the retrofit by assigning the cost not to you but to your Hydro meter. These costs will also be spread out over many years, based on the expected lifespan of the new equipment you just installed. So, while you will make a new payment every month on your Hydro bill, Hydro will calculate the amount owed to be less than the initial savings you’ll get each month thanks to the new upgrades to your property.

By assigning the retrofit costs to your property’s Hydro meter rather than to you personally, you can also sell the property without worrying about “getting your retrofit money back”. The new owners will simply continue making the monthly retrofit payment and realize the overall savings each month same as you did before you sold it.

I should also mention that on-meter financing will be available for both smaller retrofit projects such as new insulation or a low-flush toilet, and for larger projects such as converting your property to geo-thermal heat pumps. On-meter financing won’t just be limited to single-family homes either – apartment block landlords and other business owners can also apply this Fall when the program starts. From Hydro’s perspective, it doesn’t matter what the property is used for so long as there are energy savings. The type of energy you currently use to heat the property (natural gas or electricity) doesn’t matter either, on-meter financing will be available in both situations if there are sufficient energy and water savings to capture.

Simply put, this is a huge opportunity and a very significant expansion of Hydro’s powers to help Manitobans become even more efficient than we already are. If you have any questions of comments please contact my office anytime at 775-8575.

(Republished from the Broadcaster)