March 29, 2019 12:12 pm
Updated: March 29, 2019 12:15 pm

Federal carbon tax wipes out SaskEnergy natural gas rate decrease: Sask. gov’t

WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says Ottawa should delay collecting carbon tax until court decision.

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The Saskatchewan government says any savings residential natural gas customers would have received from a commodity rate cut are being wiped out by the federal carbon tax.

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The province approved SaskEnergy’s application to the rate review panel to lower the commodity rate from $3.65/gigajoule (GJ) to $2.575 GJ.

READ MORE: Many Saskatchewan small businesses plan to absorb carbon tax costs

Officials said it would have saved residential customers an average of $90 annually.

That is being wiped out by the federal carbon tax, which comes into effect on April 1, the government said.

The carbon tax will result in a $109 average increase this year, and increases of $54 annually in each of the next three years, according to the province.

“SaskEnergy customers should be able to take advantage of what would have been the lowest commodity rate in 20 years,” said Bronwyn Eyre, the minister responsible for SaskEnergy.

“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.”

READ MORE: Sask. budget does not account for carbon tax due to unknowns: finance minister

Officials said the 2018-19 winter was colder than normal, with February 40 per cent colder than the 30-year average.

The Saskatchewan government also approved a 3.4 per cent increase to SaskEnergy’s commodity and delivery service rates.

SaskEnergy said the increase will provide additional funding for safety and integrity programs, along with infrastructure investments.

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