Business Profiles

How Efficiency Manitoba is supporting new energy-efficient construction

Merit Functional Foods in receivership.


As the one-stop shop for helping Manitobans save energy, money, and the environment, Efficiency Manitoba is ready to assist on the journey to become more energy efficient.

Merit Functional Foods (“Merit”) is just one of the customers Efficiency Manitoba recently helped. A plant-based protein supplier, Merit was planning to build a new 94,000 square foot state-of-the-art non-GMO pea and canola production facility in Winnipeg. With Merit’s strong commitment to energy efficiency, sustainable manufacturing, and improved outcomes for our planet, Efficiency Manitoba was excited to support them with incentives and technical expertise.

The Project
Efficiency Manitoba worked closely with Merit to identify ways they could construct their facility and optimize their operations in a way that would deliver significant energy and cost savings. Two of Efficiency Manitoba’s business programs were used to help with the project: the New Buildings Program and the Custom Energy Solutions Program.

Ryan Bracken, the co-CEO at Merit, was pleased with the application process. “It was extremely simple,” he said. “The team we worked with was very hands-on and walked us through the process as well as assisted with applications.” 

Efficiency Manitoba supported eight major processing-related energy efficiency opportunities. The most significant electricity savings come from the pump and fan systems installed with variable speed drive controls, which optimize process variables such as flow, temperature, and pH, enabling optimal production performance. Additional process-related electrical energy savings came from optimizing the facility’s refrigeration and compressed air systems.

Substantial natural gas savings and associated greenhouse gas emissions reductions come from the implementation of heat recovery options associated with three large dryers as well as the installation of an economizer to increase the overall efficiency of the boiler.

Efficiency Manitoba also provided support to ensure Merit constructed the most energy-efficient building they could. This included the incorporation of energy-efficient lighting, improved HVAC, and a high-performance building envelope.

“We had a great experience with the Efficiency Manitoba team members,” Bracken remarked. “The team was always willing to provide help where needed. They always followed through on their commitments in terms of support and incentives, which was much appreciated.”

Crunching The Numbers
Efficiency Manitoba provided Merit with $1.25 million in incentives; this financial benefit made for a convincing business case to go about incorporating energy efficiency into their new build. Impressively, these incentives reduced the paybacks on the incremental costs of the upgrades to less than two years!

The savings shown below are equally as remarkable:

  • Estimated annual bill savings: $800,000
  • Estimated annual electricity savings: 8.16 GWh (gigawatt-hours)
  • Estimated annual natural gas savings: 1.63 million m3
    (cubic metres)
  • Natural gas savings are expected to provide annual greenhouse gas emission reductions of over 3,000 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

What’s Next?
Merit’s energy efficiency journey is far from over. With plans for future plant expansion, Bracken expressed a commitment to continuously improving their facility and operations. 

“I’d like to say thank you to Efficiency Manitoba for the support,” said Bracken. “It has been a successful relationship so far, and we’re looking forward to future partnerships in the years to come.”

If you’re looking for ways to save energy, money, and the environment, Efficiency Manitoba can help. They offer financial incentives, programs, and technical expertise to help you along your energy efficiency journey. Go to to learn more.


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