SaskEnergy Drops Rates Same Day As Carbon Tax Kicks In
Depending which way you look at it - a good or bad measure - the federal Carbon Tax is about to hit your wallet including your SaskEnergy natural gas bill.
Starting April 1st SaskEnergy is required to charge the Carbon Tax on all natural gas sales. The federal Carbon Tax is being applied to a variety of different things in Saskatchewan effective April 1st which includes - but not limited to - gasoline and diesel fuel . There are exemptions though dependent upon the industry.
According to a news release from SaskEnergy the Commodity Rate will be lowered from $3.65/Gigajoule(GJ) to $2.575/GJ, the lowest rate in 20 years. The Delivery Service Rate will increase by 3.4 per cent to provide additional funding for safety and infrastructure investments.
The rate reduction will see an average drop in residential SaskEnergy bills of approximately $90 annually while the Federal Carbon Tax - which comes into effect in Saskatchewan on April 1st - will eliminate the rate decrease and see approximate effect of $109 annually on the average SaskEnergy residential customer’s bill. In the next three years there is expected to be an average $54 added to the average SaskEnergy residential bill due to Carbon Tax the release stated.
At the present time the Saskatchewan Government is engaged in legal proceedings against the Federal Government regarding the constitutionality to apply a Carbon Tax on Saskatchewan. The case has yet to be ruled upon and is likely going to be appealed by whichever losing government to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Federal Carbon Tax is being applied in an effort to fight Climate Change. For a good overview of the issues faced by Climate Change from those fighting it - opposed to the Province’s stance - check out columnist Kimberly Epp’s Climate Change column.
“SaskEnergy customers should be able to take advantage of what would have been the lowest commodity rate in 20 years,” Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Bronwyn Eyre said in a statement adding, “Instead, the Federal Carbon Tax will wipe out those savings and raise heating costs for families and businesses across the province. The harsh winter we’ve just experienced reminds us how much we depend on SaskEnergy for safe and reliable natural gas service.”
The winter of 2018-19 was colder than normal, and the month of February was 40 per cent colder than the 30-year average.
While the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel was in the process of reviewing SaskEnergy’s rate application, the government approved an interim SaskEnergy Commodity Rate of $2.95/GJ, effective from November 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, saving customers about $50 over the past few winter months.
SaskEnergy’s new Commodity Rate is the lowest since 1999. The adjustment to the Delivery Service Rate will provide additional funding for safety and system integrity programs, as well as infrastructure investments for projects such as the relocation of major pipeline infrastructure outside large urban centres, the news release concluded.