Winnipeg Electricity Retailers and Natural Gas Providers
Like the rest of Manitoba, homeowners and businesses in Winnipeg receive the entirety of their electricity from Manitoba Hydro, the province’s sole supplier of electricity. Due to the current regulatory situation in the Manitoba, Winnipeg residents are unable to purchase their electricity from a retail alternative to Manitoba Hydro.
However, it is possible to contract with a retail seller of natural gas. If you choose to purchase your natural gas from a retail supplier, you may be able to significantly reduce your natural gas bills.
Currently, natural gas retailers serving Winnipeg include:
- ECNG Energy
- Just Energy
- Planet Energy
The offerings of these suppliers may vary over time, with rate plans including fixed rate, variable price, monthly fixed plans, and combinations thereof. Some options may be available to residential customers, businesses, or both. To view and compare the rates currently available in your region of Winnipeg, fill out our comparison form above.
Winnipeg Electricity and Natural Gas History
Winnipeg was first founded as an unincorporated village in 1862, near what is now the intersection of Main Street and Portage Avenue. Businesses began to spring up around this settlement, in turn bringing in further waves of settlement. In 1873, Winnipeg was incorporated as a city, with the name “Winnipeg” being officially recognized in 1876.
Given the exceptionally rapid rate of Winnipeg’s growth, it’s unsurprising that there a number of attempts to found energy companies in the city. The most notable of these early companies was the Winnipeg Gas Company, which was incorporated in March of 1873, with the goal of illuminating the city using gas lighting. Unfortunately, it achieved little of note. But the same year, a hotel on Main Street illuminated an electric lamp at the front of the building—the very first electric light in the city—in order to help travelers find their way to the door.
In 1880, the provincial government of Manitoba incorporated the Manitoba Electric & Gas Light Company, tasking it with the goal to supply the province’s residents, including those in Winnipeg, with electricity and natural gas. The next year, the company absorbed the Winnipeg Gas Company, and by the end of the decade it had taken over the entirety of Manitoba’s street lighting. But while much of Winnipeg was illuminated with gas and electric lighting by the turn of the century, very few residences had electric lighting, and fewer still had gas heating.
The first step towards remedying this imbalance occurred with the formation of the City of Winnipeg Hydroelectric System, a municipal utility founded with the express intent of bringing down the extremely high cost of electricity in the city. In 1911, construction was completed on a hydroelectric power plant on the Winnipeg River, at Pointe du Bois. It is readily apparent that Winnipeg Hydro took great care in the design and construction of the Pointe du Bois Generating Station, as the station is still in operation more than 110 years later, making it one of the oldest operating power stations in North America.
Winnipeg Hydro went on become the city’s dedicated supplier of electricity for many years. From 1911 to 1973, residents of the city enjoyed one of the lowest electricity rates in North America—only 3 1/3 cents per kWh. In 2002, Winnipeg Hydro finally closed, with its facilities and operations being absorbed by Manitoba Hydro, which is now the city’s sole supplier of electricity, and its regulated supplier of natural gas services.