Energy Matters – December 2017

Power Smart tip

Install a timer for your car’s block heater to reduce energy use.

Update: LED street light conversion

Manitoba Hydro is more than halfway through its program to convert over 130,000 street lights in the province by 2021.

Almost 69,000 streetlights have been switched to new energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights under the six-year Power Smart* LED Roadway Lighting Conversion Program launched in 2014.

LED streetlights:

  • use up to 60 per cent less energy;
  • turn on/off automatically dawn to dusk using light-sensitive photocells;
  • last 15 or more years;
  • require minimal maintenance.

Several communities across the province—such as Swan River, Dauphin and Brandon—now benefit from lower energy costs and less maintenance tasks like replacing burnt-out bulbs.

Streetlights in rural Manitoba and in south Winnipeg are next to be changed over, including some of the decorative lights in and around the city’s downtown.

Areas in Winnipeg already converted from the old-style High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs include the city’s downtown, north-west Winnipeg, the Kildonans, River East, West End and Point Douglas.

“People are very happy with the new LED streetlights,” said Sel Burrows of the Point Douglas Residents Association. “The light is brighter and it carriers further along the street. Anybody walking along the street feels safer. People feel better about our neighbourhood.”

The Power Smart* LED Roadway Lighting Conversion Program was introduced more than three years ago to help meet provincial energy saving targets of six megawatts and 42 gigawatt hours of energy—equivalent to the energy used by about 2,200 average homes in Manitoba in one year.

Besides lower energy consumption, LED street lights have several benefits over HPS lamps, including a longer life expectancy, up to 20 years longer; better performance in cold weather; and improved quality of light for drivers and pedestrians.

Manitoba Hydro is responsible for maintaining and repairing streetlights in Winnipeg. Report a streetlight outage.

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Using a space heater? Be cautious.

Space heaters are not intended as a permanent heat source. If you use a space heater as a temporary heat source in your home or garage, follow these tips to avoid a potential shock or fire:

  • Look for a space heater certified by an accredited agency and make sure it is suitable for your intended use.
  • Choose a model with a tip-over switch that automatically turns off if knocked over and a guard to prevent fingers or flammable objects from touching heating elements.
  • Keep space heaters away from drapery, blankets and other flammable materials.
  • Always inspect cords for signs of damage. Plug the space heater directly into the power outlet. Never use an extension cord.
  • Do not use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, which could cause burns or shock.
  • Never use space heaters in damp or wet areas.
  • Space heaters are only meant to supply supplemental heat. Do not use them to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Turn off the space heater when you go to bed or leave the room. Never leave a space heater unattended, and unplug it when not in use.

Remember: Space heaters are not a permanent solution. If your home is persistently cold, consult a heating professional or your landlord. Learn more about upgrading your home’s heating.

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Manitoba Hydro – by the numbers

96 – Percentage of total electricity produced each year at its 15 hydroelectric generating stations.

5,690 – Total generating capability in megawatts.

1926 – The year Manitoba Hydro’s oldest generating station Point du Bois was completed.

68,000 – Total kilometres of distribution power lines.

18,000 – Total kilometres of transmission lines.

398 – Total number of substations.

123 – Total number of wind turbines.

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Credit Counselling Society

Fifty per cent of Canadians struggle with debt and 48 per cent of working Canadians couldn’t pay their bills if their pay was delayed one week. If you’re struggling, call the Credit Counselling Society at 1-888-527-8999 or visit our website. The Credit Counselling Society is non-profit and ready to help you get back on track.

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