October 23, 2015 - Thousands of small, independent businesses across the province, from family restaurants to small retail shops, are expected to participate in Manitoba Hydro’s new Power Smart Shops Program, aimed at lowering energy and water bills, according to Jobs and Economy Minister Kevin Chief.
By Renée Francoeur
Manitoba Hydro estimates that the enhanced Power Smart Shops Program will see about 5000 small businesses take part in the program by the end of 2020-21, saving these businesses almost $5 million within 15 years.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the province’s economy,” Chief said. “What the Power Smart Shops Program does is help independent business owners keep more money in their pockets that in turn can be used to grow their business and even hire additional employees.”
The program provides qualifying businesses free or low-cost efficiency upgrades such as LED screw-in lamps, water saving devices such as faucet aerators and low-flow, pre-rinse spray valves if they operate an establishment with a kitchen.
The program is based on a similar one that ran from May 2009 to October 2010. Approximately 700 businesses in the Winnipeg area benefitted from lighting and water efficiency upgrades with energy savings of 0.8GW hours over the two years.
Lloyd Kuczek with Manitoba Hydro added the initiative is expected to achieve nearly 4GW-hours in electricity, equivalent to the amount of energy needed to power 240 homes for one year, and 1 million cubic meters in natural gas, enough to serve 425 homes for one year.
The program is available to small independent businesses across the province, so long as they are Manitoba Hydro electric or natural gas customers, billed at the commercial rate, and meet the program’s requirements. To qualify, businesses must be no larger than 10,000 sf and have less than six locations in Manitoba.
Business owners can sign up by calling 204-360-3676, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or completing an online form. Customers can also contact the program’s delivery contractor Ecofitt at 1-877-Eco-Fitt (1-877-326-3488).