05/08/2012 12:23 EDT | Updated 07/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Manitoba Hydro offers home energy efficiency, province says lowest utility rates

WINNIPEG - Manitoba homeowners are being offered new help to make their homes more energy-efficient.

Manitoba Hydro is launching a program this fall that will pay for customers' energy and water retrofits, then recover the money over time via the customer's monthly bills.

The Crown corporation says the program is aimed primarily at older homes where big savings can be had by upgrading insulation, furnaces or toilets.

Meanwhile, the government is promising to guarantee the province's utility rates are the lowest in the country.

Premier Greg Selinger says by the end of September the government will issue a report comparing the cost of electricity, home heating and auto insurance with the rates in other provinces.

Selinger says the report will be prepared by an independent accounting firm.