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1st Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 24

THE ENERGY SAVINGS ACT


Explanatory Note Bilingual version (PDF) Table of Contents

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"account for power", in relation to a building, means the account established by the corporation for the customer who is responsible for paying for the supply of power to the building. (« compte d'énergie »)

"board" means the board of the corporation. (« conseil »)

"corporation" means Manitoba Hydro. (« Régie »)

"energy efficiency plan" means the energy efficiency plan prepared under subsection 7(1). (« plan d'efficacité énergétique »)

"fiscal year" means the period beginning on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 in the next year. (« exercice »)

"fund" means the Affordable Energy Fund continued under subsection 4(1). (« Fonds »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"monthly charge" means the monthly charge levied on the account for power for a building under clause 9(1)(b). (« frais mensuels »)

"on-meter efficiency improvements program" means the program established under section 9. (« programme d'amélioration de l'efficacité énergétique »)

"power" means power as defined in The Manitoba Hydro Act, except in section 2 (powers to carry out Act). (« énergie »)

Expanded meaning: "account for power"

1(2)        If there is a separate account for a part of a building, "account for power" means the account established by the corporation for the customer who is responsible for paying for the supply of power to that part of the building.

Powers to carry out Act

2           In addition to the powers given to the corporation under The Manitoba Hydro Act, the corporation has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person for carrying out the powers, duties and functions given to it under this Act and for carrying out the purposes of the fund.

Actions of the corporation under the Act

3           The management of the fund, the implementation of the energy efficiency plan and the operation of the on-meter efficiency improvements program are deemed to be within the purposes and objects of the corporation.

AFFORDABLE ENERGY FUND

Fund continued

4(1)        The Affordable Energy Fund established by the corporation under The Winter Heating Cost Control Act is continued under this Act.

Management of fund

4(2)        The corporation is responsible for managing the fund, and may make or authorize payments from the fund only for the purposes of the fund.

Manitoba Hydro to contribute to fund

4(3)        The corporation is to contribute to the fund from time to time the proportion of its gross revenue from the sale of power to customers outside Manitoba that the corporation, in consultation with the minister, considers necessary to carry out the purposes of the fund.

Purposes of the fund

5(1)        The purposes of the fund are to provide support for

(a) programs, services and projects

(i) that encourage and realize efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of power, natural gas, other home heating fuels and, subject to subsection (3), water,

(ii) that encourage and realize the use of renewable energy sources, including earth energy, and

(iii) that are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from the use of home heating fuels other than natural gas in Manitoba;

(b) research and development of renewable energy sources and innovative energy technologies; and

(c) social enterprises, community organizations and other business who assist people or neighborhoods to realize efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of power, natural gas, other home heating fuels and, subject to subsection (3), water.

Eligibility of social enterprises, etc.

5(2)        To be eligible to receive support from the fund, the corporation must be satisfied that a social enterprise, community organization or other business will use the support to train and employ persons facing barriers to employment in order that they may acquire the skills needed to be employed in activities that realize efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of power, natural gas, other home heating fuels and, subject to subsection (3), water.

Water conservation measures may be supported

5(3)        Efficiency improvement and conservation in the use of water may be supported under the fund, but only if the changes that do so are made in conjunction with other changes made under a program, service or project supported by the fund that encourages and realizes efficiency improvements and conservation in the use of power, natural gas and other home heating fuels.

Efficiency and conservation programs and services

6           The programs and services for efficiency improvements and conservation referred to in subclause 5(1)(a)(i)

(a) must be generally designed and delivered to ensure

(i) that people living in rural or northern Manitoba, seniors and people with low incomes have access to those programs, services and projects, and

(ii) that the corporation's residential customers, regardless of the energy source they use to heat their homes, have access to comparable programs, services and projects; and

(b) may specifically

(i) target particular locations or areas of Manitoba,

(ii) encourage the use of particular types of renewable energy sources, and

(iii) assist seniors, those with low incomes, tenants or other specified groups.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY PLAN

Energy efficiency plan

7(1)        The board must, in consultation with the minister,

(a) prepare an energy efficiency plan by March 31, 2013; and

(b) prepare an update to the plan annually after that.

Content of plan

7(2)        The energy efficiency plan must set out

(a) energy efficiency targets in relation to the projected use of power and natural gas by the corporation's customers in Manitoba;

(b) a strategy for achieving the energy efficiency targets;

(c) the programs, services and projects that the corporation will support to implement the strategy, which may include programs, services and projects that

(i) replace or improve equipment and materials related to the use of power and natural gas and the production of greenhouse gas emissions,

(ii) enhance space heat retention and heating efficiency, and

(iii) change customer behaviour relating to the use of power and natural gas and the production of greenhouse gas emissions; and

(d) the estimated annual cost of implementing the strategy and indicate how the costs will be funded.

Annual reporting

8(1)        For each fiscal year beginning after March 31, 2013, the board must report, in writing, on the outcomes achieved under the energy efficiency plan during the fiscal year. The report must be given to the minister within 12 months of the end of the fiscal year.

Tabling of report

8(2)        The minister must table a copy of the corporation's report in the Assembly within 15 days after receiving it if the Assembly is sitting or, if it is not, within 15 days after the next sitting begins.

ON-METER EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM

On-meter efficiency improvements program

9(1)        The corporation may establish and maintain an on-meter efficiency improvements program under which the corporation

(a) pays on behalf of a person — pursuant to an agreement with the person — some or all of the costs incurred by the person in relation to changes made to improve the efficiency of a building; and

(b) recovers the costs that are to be repaid to it by or on behalf of the person by levying a monthly charge on the account for power for the building.

Improving the efficiency of a building

9(2)        For the purpose of clause (1)(a), the changes made to improve the efficiency of a building are capital improvements or fixture installations that the corporation reasonably expects will

(a) improve the energy efficiency of the building or a structure related to the building; or

(b) reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions that result from the use of home heating fuels other than natural gas in the building or in a structure related to the building.

Water efficiency and conservation measures may be included

9(3)        Changes that improve efficiency and conservation in the use of water within the building or a structure related to the building are also considered to improve efficiency, but only if the changes that do so are made in conjunction with other changes made under the program to improve energy efficiency or reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

Program criteria, terms and conditions

9(4)        Subject to this Act, the corporation may establish the criteria and terms and conditions of the on-meter efficiency improvements program.

Agreement respecting monthly charges

10(1)       An agreement entered into by the corporation and a person under clause 9(1)(a) must

(a) set out

(i) the term of the agreement, which must not exceed the useful lifespan of the longest lasting change made to improve efficiency,

(ii) the amount of the monthly charge to be levied on the account for power for the building, which, subject to adjustments in the interest rate under subsection (3), must be the same throughout the entire term of the agreement, and

(iii) consistent with subsection (3), the times and manner in which the amount of the monthly charge may be adjusted by the corporation in order to reflect adjustments in the interest rate charged by the corporation under the agreement; and

(b) include the following provision:

"If a building that is subject to the on-meter efficiency improvements program is occupied by one or more tenants who are responsible for paying the account for power for the building, the registered owner must provide each tenant the program-related information that Manitoba Hydro gives to the registered owner to give to the tenants."

The agreement may contain other terms and conditions.

Projected savings to pay monthly charge

10(2)       The amount of the monthly charge for the first five years of the agreement must be less than the projected average monthly cost savings that the corporation reasonably expects will be realized during the first 12 months of the agreement because of the changes.

Adjustment in monthly charge

10(3)       The corporation may, at the end of the first five years of the agreement and once every five years after that, adjust the amount of a monthly charge to reflect adjustments in the interest rate it charges under the agreement.

Monthly charge to be displayed separately

10(4)       The corporation must ensure that the monthly charge is shown as a separate line item on the monthly statement for the account for power.

Monthly charge continues for term of agreement

10(5)       The corporation may continue to levy the monthly charge for the term set out in the agreement, including on an account for power that replaces an account for power for that building.

Who pays the monthly charge

11(1)       The person who is responsible for paying an account for power for a building for any period must pay each monthly charge levied for that period under the on-meter efficiency improvements program, even if that person is not a party to the agreement under which the corporation first levied the monthly charge.

Collection of monthly charge

11(2)       The corporation may collect the monthly charge in the same manner, and with the same priority, as it collects charges for power supplied by it under The Manitoba Hydro Act, and for that purpose, the provisions of The Manitoba Hydro Act that apply to the collection of accounts apply with necessary changes to the collection of a monthly charge.

Notice of agreement to be registered in L.T.O.

12          After entering into an agreement referred to in clause 9(1)(a) in respect of a building, the corporation must, if there is a title, register a notice of the agreement against the applicable title in the appropriate land titles office. The notice must be in the form approved by the Registrar-General.

Monthly charge is not a price for power

13          For the purposes of this and any other Act, a monthly charge is not a price charged by Manitoba Hydro with respect to the provision of power.

Regulations

14          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations that are considered necessary or advisable respecting the on-meter efficiency improvements program.

CONSEQUENTIAL AND RELATED AMENDMENTS

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. H190

15          Clause 52(d) of The Manitoba Hydro Act is amended by adding "or any monthly charge levied under the on-meter efficiency improvements program under The Energy Savings Act" after "account for power".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. R30

16          Subsection 45(5) of The Real Property Act is amended by adding the following after clause (h):

(h.1) a notice registered under section 12 of The Energy Savings Act;

C.C.S.M. c. R119 amended

17(1)       The Residential Tenancies Act is amended by this section.

17(2)       Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definitions:

"account for power" has the same meaning as in section 1 of The Energy Savings Act; (« compte d'énergie »)

"monthly charge" has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of The Energy Savings Act; (« frais mensuels »)

"on-meter efficiency improvements program" has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of The Energy Savings Act; (« programme d'amélioration de l'efficacité énergétique »)

17(3)       The following is added after subsection 1(1.7):

Monthly charge for improved efficiency charge not rent

1(1.8)      In this Act, "rent" does not include the amount of a monthly charge that is levied and collected on the account for power for a rental unit under the on-meter efficiency improvements program, if the director is satisfied that

(a) the tenant is responsible for paying the account for power for the rental unit; and

(b) the tenant who occupied the rental unit when the agreement under the on-meter efficiency improvements program was entered into in respect of the residential complex in which the rental unit is located agreed to a monthly charge being levied on the account for power for the rental unit.

Director may require information from Manitoba Hydro

1(1.9)      To assist the director in administering and enforcing this Act, the director may request in writing that Manitoba Hydro provide information collected or obtained under the on-meter efficiency improvements program, including

(a) the address of a building that is subject to the on-meter efficiency improvements program;

(b) the name and address of the person or persons who are or were responsible for paying the account for power for the building; and

(c) the costs of the changes that were made to the building under the program and the amount of the monthly charge levied on the account for power for the building.

Manitoba Hydro to provide information

1(1.10)     Manitoba Hydro must provide the director with the information, including personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, requested under subsection (1.9) in the form and within the time period specified by the director.

17(4)        Subsection 122(4) is amended by striking out "Subsections 125(2) to (4)" and substituting "Subsections 125(2) to (5)".

17(5)       The following is added after subsection 125(4):

Costs recovered by Manitoba Hydro not to be considered

125(5)      The director must not consider the cost of capital improvements and fixtures made to or installed in the residential complex, or the portion of the cost of them, that Manitoba Hydro is to recover by levying a monthly charge on the account for power for the building, if the tenant of each rental unit in the residential complex is responsible for paying the account for power for their rental unit.

REPEAL, C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

Repeal

18          The Winter Heating Cost Control Act, S.M. 2006, c. 5, is repealed.

C.C.S.M. reference

19          This Act may be referred to as chapter E115.5 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

20          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill contains provisions respecting the Affordable Energy Fund, an energy efficiency plan and an on-meter efficiency improvements program.

Affordable Energy Fund

The Affordable Energy Fund, which was previously established by Manitoba Hydro under The Winter Heating Cost Control Act, is continued under this Bill.

The fund may be used to support activities that will improve energy efficiency and conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions or have the potential to do so. The fund may also be used to support social enterprises and community organizations in assisting people or neighbourhoods to participate in such activities.

Energy Efficiency Plan

Manitoba Hydro is required to prepare an energy efficiency plan before April 2013 in consultation with the minister, and to prepare an annual update to the plan for each fiscal year after that.

The plan is to set out energy efficiency targets relating to projected demand for power and natural gas in Manitoba and strategies for achieving the targets. The plan must also identify the estimated costs and funding for the programs, services and projects that Manitoba Hydro will support in implementing the strategies.

On-Meter Efficiency Improvements Program

The Bill also authorizes Manitoba Hydro to establish an on-meter efficiency improvements program. Under such a program, the corporation agrees to pay some or all of the costs of improving the efficiency of a person's building and then recovers the amount that the person is to repay the corporation by levying a monthly charge on the power account for the building.

The monthly charge may continue to be levied on the account for power for the entire term of the agreement, even if the person who originally enters into the agreement with Manitoba Hydro sells the building to someone else.

Related amendments are made to The Residential Tenancies Act to enable the monthly surcharge to be taken into account under that Act.

Consequential amendments are made to The Manitoba Hydro Act and The Real Property Act.