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March 3, 2006 - Saskatchewan Junior Curlers to learn from Canada's Best

March 9, 2006

SaskEnergy applies to decrease
natural gas commodity rates

SaskEnergy today filed an application with the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel (SRRP) for a new commodity rate of $6.80/Gigajoule (GJ), reflecting lower spring and summer natural gas prices. The new rate would represent an overall system-wide bill decrease of almost 10 per cent from the current effective rate of $7.95/GJ, or a savings of about $35 for the average customer over the next seven months.

SaskEnergy's commodity rate has been in effect since November 1, 2005 and included a credit from the Saskatchewan Energy Share of up to $2.93/GJ, capping SaskEnergy's rate at $7.95/GJ. This one-time assistance, which expires March 31, 2006, protected consumers from record-high natural gas rates this winter. The $7.95/GJ will be maintained until the Panel and Cabinet have made a final decision on SaskEnergy's rate application.

"A driving factor behind this rate decrease is the effect on the market from one of the warmest winters in North American history," said Ken From, Senior Vice President, Gas Supply and Business Development, SaskEnergy. "With warmer weather throughout the traditionally coldest winter months, more natural gas remains in storage across the continent than normal for this time of year, while natural gas production has begun to come back on-line from hurricane-damaged facilities in the United States Gulf Coast. These factors have combined to substantially drive down the price of natural gas in recent months.

"However, while the market is not at last year's historic highs, it remains extremely volatile, with prices for next winter continuing to trade above SaskEnergy's current rate of $7.95/GJ. SaskEnergy expects to have a new application submitted to the Rate Review Panel for the start of the winter gas year, which begins November 1, 2006, that will reflect prices at that time."

SaskEnergy encourages customers to conserve energy in recognition that prices for next winter continue to trade at higher levels.

To help make it easier and more affordable for Saskatchewan residents to improve the long-term energy efficiency of their homes, the Government of Saskatchewan has introduced a series of long-term energy conservation programs as part of the Saskatchewan Energy Share. Several of these programs are applicable to SaskEnergy customers:

  • Expansion of the PST exemption on ENERGY STAR® appliances to include furnaces and boilers, effective November 8, 2005. There is also a $100 grant for qualified furnaces and boilers purchased and installed between September 1, 2005 and November 7, 2005;

  • A $45 rebate on ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostats;

  • Matching of the federal grant up to $2,000 for changes made after an EnerGuide for Houses follow-up audit;

  • Expansion and cost-sharing of the federal EnerGuide for low-income households; and

  • A new Saskatchewan EnerGuide program for moderate-income homeowners.

For further information about the long-term Saskatchewan Energy Share conservation programs, please call toll-free 1-866-409-9770, or visit the Saskatchewan Energy Share website at: www.skenergyshare.com

Like other Canadian utilities, SaskEnergy does not profit from the physical sale of gas; therefore the applied-for decrease is reflective of market prices. SaskEnergy's delivery rates, representing the corporation's internal costs, will not be changing at this time. SaskEnergy's delivery rates have not increased since 1997.

For further information, please call:

Ken From
Senior Vice President, Gas Supply and Business Development
SaskEnergy
Phone: (306) 777-9366

 

SaskEnergy Commodity Rate Announcement : Frequently Asked Questions