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Saskatchewan’s new net metering program still under fire

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WATCH: Saskatchewan’s net metering program will be reactivated on Nov. 1, but many fear it will kill a growing industry – Oct 25, 2019

As a solar consultant, Jason Praski knows the value of renewable energy.

So when SaskPower switched off its old net metering program, many feared it would kill a growing industry.

While Praski says he understands the reason for a quick decision, he points to a lack of phase-out and notice for customers.

“I hope they’re sitting at the table again re-thinking the program and may be backtracking a bit,” Praski said.

READ MORE: New SaskPower net metering program comes online Nov. 1

With the new program set to come online next week, it’s being heavily criticized as lackluster and not doing its part to combat climate change.

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“At a time when we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions we need all hands on deck, we need citizens to play an important role in tackling climate change,” said Peter Prebble, Saskatchewan Environment Society.

“It seems sad that the success of the program has led to its revamping,”

But from a business sense, the province says the old program just wasn’t sustainable.

READ MORE: Sask. net metering program will impact green energy efforts: SUMA

“SaskPower forecasted out that if we were to add the number of customers we did in the past 10 months that by 2025-26 we would be looking at a $54 million dollar loss in revenue,” said Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan environment minister.

Still, Praski says what many people don’t know is that customers are already paying a flat fee to cover administrative costs.

“I would say that the solar owners are now subsidizing pollution, now subsidizing SaskPower and their customers,” Praski said.

As the sun sets on this phase of the solar program, Praski hopes new options might also be on the horizon.

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