Generating your own electricity
You can generate or store electricity for your home or business using alternative energy technologies such as:
- small scale hydro;
- battery storage.
This is called non-utility generation or distributed energy resources.
You can use the electricity that your system produces and reduce the amount of electricity you buy from us, but in most situations, you will need to remain connected to our grid. This is because your system may not be able to produce electricity 24 hours a day, such as when the sun is down or the wind isn’t blowing.
Excess energy price
If you are generating more energy than you are using, and your generator is less than 100 kW in size, your excess energy can be sold back to us at the excess energy price.
The excess energy price is $0.05079/kWh until March 31, 2023. This price is updated yearly and reflects the current market value. It is not equal to our electricity rates because our rates must recover service costs, such as:
- customer service;
- emergency restoration.
The excess energy price will change from year to year and can vary significantly depending on the market value of excess energy. The table below contains historical excess energy prices over the last 5 years.
|Effective date||Excess energy price
|2022 April 1||$0.05079|
|2021 April 1||$0.02403|
|2020 April 1||$0.02949|
|2019 April 1||$0.03949|
|2018 April 1||$0.03253|
If your generator is 100 kW or greater in size your purchase price will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about selling excess electricity for generators 100 kW or greater.
We use net billing instead of net metering. Net billing allows you to generate electricity for your own use and sell your excess electricity to us to receive a monetary credit on your Manitoba Hydro account. Net metering creates an energy credit to draw on at a later date.
Any electricity your system generates will reduce the amount of energy you need to buy at that time. If you use more than your system generates, you will purchase that energy from us at the current electricity rate, just like you did before you installed your system.
When your system generates more electricity than you use, you will receive a monetary credit for your excess generation at the excess energy price. This credit will be applied against other charges on your monthly bill.
The payback period of a non-utility generating system can depend on:
- the total install cost including any financing costs;
- ongoing operating and maintenance expenses;
- your site’s annual energy needs relative to the size and type of system you are installing;
- the quantity of energy used to offset load versus excess sold to us;
- system performance;
- future electricity rates in Manitoba and the excess energy price.
A properly sized system that uses most of the energy generated, rather than selling excess to us, will typically provide a better payback.
Before you invest in a generating system, consider reducing your electricity use by adding insulation, buying energy-efficient appliances, or upgrading your lighting. It is more cost effective to reduce your electricity costs by improving your energy efficiency than by generating your own electricity.
Calculate your payback period
Step 1: Determine your costs
Once you have a quote from your contractor, subtract the value of any federal/provincial grants and rebates from the total cost of your system and add any financing costs. We recommend getting at least 2 or 3 quotes and to be wary of estimates that promise quick paybacks.
Step 2: Determine your annual cost savings
Calculate your annual financial benefits, including your avoided electricity usage at your current electricity rate, and add any additional benefits, including any excess energy sold to us.
Annual cost savings formula:
(energy produced x percent of energy used x current electricity rate) + (energy produced x percent of energy sold to us x excess energy purchase price)
Step 3: Calculate the payback period
Divide the total cost of your system from Step 1 by your annual financial benefits from Step 2 to calculate the number of years it will take for you to achieve your payback.
For more information about non-utility generation, email us.