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September 8, 2003 - Furnace upgrades easier and cheaper with SaskEnergy


September 8, 2003

Furnace upgrades easier and
cheaper with SaskEnergy

SaskEnergy, its Network Members and Natural Resources Canada, are helping the average homeowner save up to $570 a year on natural gas heating costs. Through the ENERGY STAR® Loan Event, homeowners can apply for loans at Prime Rate to upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace or boiler.

Research shows that approximately 58% of the average home's energy costs are attributed to space heating. With a high-efficiency furnace (96% efficiency), homeowners can save more than $500 per year on natural gas heating costs - Compared to a standard 60% efficient furnace. One high-efficiency furnace alone can also reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) by 2.2 tonnes per year.

"As we become a more energy-conscious society, SaskEnergy is proud to take a leading role, offering a program that brings real benefits to consumers and to our environment," says Doug Kelln, Senior Vice President of SaskEnergy's Distribution Utility. "We're proud to have our Network Members and Natural Resources Canada partnering with us, to provide consumers with real, tangible solutions."

SaskEnergy is the only Canadian natural gas utility to offer such a program. It's an off-shoot of the company's successful Prime Rate Loan Program, which ran from July 2001 to June 2003. More than 7,000 homeowners benefited with loans amounting to $25.5 million, with another $4 million in energy and interest savings. Families that made the change are also helping the environment by eliminating more than 8,300 tonnes of GHGs each year.

ENERGY STAR is an international symbol of energy efficiency, indicating the most energy efficient products available. ENERGY STAR labeled products must meet or exceed minimum energy efficiency technical specifications according to a prescribed performance level for each product. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR label, natural gas furnaces must have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 90% or higher. Residential boilers must have an AFUE rating of 85% or higher.

This program is funded in part through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). SaskEnergy and NRCan will share the $300 in interest savings equally for each loan. Partnering with organizations like SaskEnergy and building on existing programs enables NRCan to help Canadians improve the energy efficiency of heating equipment purchased throughout the country.

Until March 31, 2004, Prime Rate loans are available OAC from all SaskEnergy Network Members on ENERGY STAR qualified furnaces and boilers. The current Prime Rate is 4.5%. The Prime Rate in effect at the time of application will be fixed for the duration of the loan, to a maximum of five years and up to $10,000 per customer. Customers who purchase other natural gas appliances at the same time can also finance those purchases at Prime.

The SaskEnergy Network includes 130 members across the province, offering a variety of natural gas appliances, equipment, installations and financing. Members plan to assist approximately 3,000 customers through this program.

A list of SaskEnergy's network members, along with some energy saving tips, are located at www.saskenergy.com.

For more information, please contact:

Doug Kelln
Senior Vice President
Distribution Utility
SaskEnergy
Phone: (306) 777-9568
email: dkelln@saskenergy.com
Paula Belanger
Communications Officer
Corporate Affairs
Phone: (306) 777-9635
Cell: (306) 529-8037
email: pbelanger@saskenergy.com