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March 31, 2006

Saskatchewan Energy Share demonstrates energy efficiency is a priority for homeowners

The number of people taking advantage of the energy conservation programs announced under Saskatchewan Energy Share is proving that energy efficiency is a priority to residents of Saskatchewan.  One example is the programmable thermostat rebate program, which has issued more than $152,000 in rebates over the last five months.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced Saskatchewan Energy Share in November 2005 to help Saskatchewan consumers decrease energy use and increase savings due to volatile energy costs.  The plan consisted of short-term assistance and long-term solutions ranging from the $45 programmable thermostat rebate to the provincial matching EnerGuide for Houses grant up to $2,000.

"Installing a programmable thermostat is just one example of how homeowners can start saving on their home heating and cooling costs," Corrections and Public Safety Minister Kevin Yates said on behalf of Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Andrew Thomson.  "SaskEnergy supports its customers by providing homeowners with a credit on their SaskEnergy bill for purchasing an ENERGY STAR® qualified programmable thermostat."

In the first five months since Saskatchewan Energy Share was announced, almost 3,500 homeowners have taken advantage of SaskEnergy's programmable thermostat rebate program, while nearly 1,000 provincial matching EnerGuide grants have been issued.  The Saskatchewan Energy Share toll-free phone line has received close to 4,500 inquiries.

Today, Practical and Applied Arts students at Regina's Cochrane High School had the opportunity to learn about energy conservation options from one of the best in the industry.

Shell Busey, Home Improvement Expert, spent the afternoon at Cochrane High School educating students on energy efficiency and answering questions about careers in the trades.  Busey also took the time to show students how to use and install a programmable thermostat on some newly donated equipment.

SaskEnergy and Lennox Industries made a special in-kind donation of ten programmable thermostats, 42 industrial hard-hats, and a high-efficient furnace to the school - ensuring students learn using the same equipment most often installed by professional contractors.

"SaskEnergy is proud to support students looking to pursue a career in the plumbing and heating trade," Yates said.

"Our students are learning trade skills that are in demand in our province," Cochrane Principal Craik Wotherspoon said.  "Thanks to SaskEnergy and Lennox Industries for their gracious donations, we can now ensure our students have the opportunity to gain knowledge and work hands-on with up-to-date tools and equipment - similar to what they will be encountering in the work world."

Cochrane High School has the only high school-level plumbing and heating course in the province.  The school serves more than 500 students and was established by Regina Public Schools to meet the needs of students who would benefit from an alternative high school program.

For energy saving tips or more information on the energy conservation programs under Saskatchewan Energy Share, please visit www.skenergyshare.com or phone 1-866-409-9770.

For further information, please call:

Dave Burdeniuk
SaskEnergy Corporate Affairs
Phone: (306) 777-9842
Cell: (306) 535-6569