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November 8, 2005 - Saskatchewan Energy Share Conservation Programs Announced

November 8, 2005

Saskatchewan Energy Share
Conservation Programs Announced

Six programs to encourage greater energy conservation and efficiency have been introduced under the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan to help people manage future energy cost increases.

The programs were announced today as the second part of the Government's strategy to help people deal with the short and long-term effects of rising energy costs. The conservation programs are:

  • Expansion of the PST exemption on ENERGY STAR qualified appliances to include furnaces and boilers;

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

  • Expansion of the Share the Warmth home energy efficiency project;

  • Matching of the federal grant 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.

"The assistance we announced last week gives our residents time to make the transition to the reality of higher energy prices by capping natural gas costs over the short-term," Crown Management Board Minister Pat Atkinson said. "With this further step in our Energy Share plan we are now helping Saskatchewan people take significant action to reduce their energy use over the long-term."

On November 2nd, Government introduced the first part of the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan. It shields people from high energy costs by capping the SaskEnergy rate increase at an average bill impact of 10 per cent for residential and farm customers, and an average of 11 per cent for business customers, over the next five months. It also provides additional assistance for low income people, as well as rebates for people and businesses who use fuel oil and propane, and those who live on the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster.

"We have designed the Saskatchewan Energy Share conservation programs to encourage energy conservation among all Saskatchewan people, regardless of their income," Minister responsible for Office of Energy Conservation David Forbes said. "However, like the short-term assistance program, we are putting a special emphasis on helping people who have low or modest incomes. Their homes are generally older and less energy efficient, so they need programs that provide meaningful energy efficiency upgrades at an affordable cost."

The estimated cost of the six conservation programs is $37.3 million. Combined with the $130.54 million cost of the short-term assistance, the total cost for the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan is estimated at $167.84 million.

"We believe $37.3 million is a reasonable amount to spend on the conservation programs compared with the overall cost of the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan," Atkinson said. "It is fiscally responsible and it will allow everyone to take some simple, affordable steps on the path toward greater energy conservation and lower energy costs."

For general inquiries about the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan, go to www.cicorp.sk.ca or call toll-free 1-866-409-9770.

For more information, contact:

Karen Schmidt
Phone: (306) 787-5889

Tyler McMurchy
Media Services
Phone: (306) 787-5780