Plug Pulled on Manitoba Hydro’s ‘Power Smart’ Program: CUPE

Plug Pulled on Manitoba Hydro’s ‘Power Smart’ Program: CUPE

Manitoba Hydro Power SmartWith the announcement Wednesday of the province’s new energy-efficiency program, the wheels are in motion to wind down Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart initiative.

“Power Smart is already an excellent program that has deep roots in the community as well as direct access to Hydro information to help Manitobans find energy savings, its hard to believe this new Crown will be able to offer anything new that Power Smart isn’t already doing,” said Chris Mravinec, president of CUPE Local 998, which represent Manitoba Hydro employees.

Efficiency Manitoba was set up to take over energy-efficiency programs from Manitoba Hydro. It was passed into law last spring and will eventually have its own board of directors and funding. Another announcement on those details will be made in the coming months, the province says.

CUPE Local 998 wants Manitoba Hydro and Efficiency Manitoba to ensure that Power Smart employees are fairly transitioned into the new Crown corporation.

A poll commissioned by CUPE 998 last January found 94 percent of Manitobans supported Power Smart and 78 percent felt that Power Smart should remain part of Manitoba Hydro.

Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said it’s too early to comment on the transition process.

“However, we continue to work closely with the Province of Manitoba to support the creation of the new entity,” he said in an email.

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