Raising Voices and Lowering Costs


Rina Hermkens is concerned about energy and efficiency costs in Manitoba. A volunteer and community engagement speaker with Winnipeg Harvest, Rina has a low income.

“I want a program that saves the environment, with financial return,” says Rina. “The more I can lessen the cost of my bills, the more money I have for things like food.”

The Consumer’s Coalition, made up of the Consumer’s Association of Canada (Manitoba) and Winnipeg Harvest, knows that more than just Rina feels this way.

It’s concerned that the plan proposed by Efficiency Manitoba (the new Crown Corporation taking over Manitoba Hydro, PowerSmart and other energy efficiency programs) is lacking input from the public, including from low income Manitobans.

So, on January 24, Rina will have the chance to speak – among a panel of people like her – at a hearing relating to energy and efficiency costs.

“An energy efficiency plan should be something that everyone can benefit from,” says Rina. “Even those with lower incomes.”

The hearing will give a voice to those in Manitoba who currently don’t have one. It takes place at the Public Utilities Board, and is open to the public and media from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.