- Electricity conservation is 2 to 8 times cheaper than building new supply, like dams.
- Conservation creates up to 10 times more jobs.
- Conservation frees up money for consumers and businesses
- Conservation helps the environment and reduces greenhouse gases.
Manitoba is falling behind in energy conservation and losing these important benefits and opportunities.
I am writing you to request that Manitoba Hydro increase its efforts to help Manitobans achieve greater electricity and energy conservation. Energy conservation is the most affordable way for Manitoba Hydro to continue to meet the energy needs for the province.
I encourage you to invest more in energy conservation and demand reduction programs. Research commissioned by Green Action Centre and the Consumers Association of Canada (Manitoba) and presented to Manitoba's Public Utilities Board shows that investments in energy conservation are two to eight times cheaper than building new supply, create up to ten times more jobs per dollar invested and have added benefits for consumers and business by freeing more disposable income and investment capital: http://greenactioncentre.ca/2013/manitoba-falling-behind-in-energy-conservation/.
In September you told the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce that Manitoba's peak energy requirement was forecast to increase 1.6% or 80 MW/year for the foreseeable future, at which rate Wuskwatim's new capacity would be used up in 2 1/2 years. Energy conservation addresses sufficiency of supply while reducing our environmental impact either by forestalling the need for new dams and other energy infrastructure or by freeing up more electricity for sale to our neighbours who rely on greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels for electricity production or both.
Many states and provinces are achieving energy conservation rates of over 1% per year. Vermont and California are close to 2%. Manitoba is falling behind with conservation rates of only 0.4%. Unless we invest now in conservation, we could fall further behind.
I have signed up for Green Action Centre’s 1% electricity challenge and have pledged to reduce my electricity consumption 1% per year by taking simple home energy conservation measures. I petition Manitoba Hydro to follow my lead and adopt a strategy to achieve 1% per year savings for the province as a whole.