Manitoba’s highly successful solar rebate program will not return until 2022

Efficiency Manitoba says it needs two years to research and coordinate with Manitoba Hydro for a new plan

Manitoba’s solar incentive program, that has long sustained the industry will return, but not until 2022.

“This is kicking the can down the road, and frankly, I think they could do better than this,” one installer says.

What Happened?

Since Manitoba Hydro ended the two-year pilot program (for which it was highly criticized) back in 2018, it still hasn’t indicated what will replace it.

Manitoba Hydro is the electric power and natural gas utility in the province of Manitoba, Canada. It is a provincial Crown Corporation, governed by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board and the Manitoba Hydro Act.

The utility left the future of the well-received program in the hands of a new Crown corporation called Efficiency Manitoba, which said in a recent report it would reinstate the incentive, but not before 2022.

Why It Matters

Efficiency Manitoba says it needs at least two years to research and coordinate with Manitoba Hydro, in order to plan a new long-term incentive or rebate program for solar panels.

The 2-year pilot program far exceeded demand.

The Crown Corporation expected to receive a small number of applications but the 2-year pilot program far exceeded demand. Of the expected 100 applications that the utility was prepared to handle, instead, they received more than 1,550.

Justin Phillips, CEO of Sycamore Energy, acknowledged the backlog and says the incentive, which provided customers with $1 per watt installed for projects up to 200 kilowatts (about 25 percent of the cost) may have been too generous.

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