Making Sense of Energy

Energy Market Update: June 2017


Edmonton launches pilot project to track building energy efficiency

The city launched a three-year pilot project to track the energy efficiency of its large buildings, hoping to have as many as 300 taking part in the voluntary program. The city will track indicators related to how energy-efficient buildings larger than 20,000 square feet are. There are an estimated 4,500 buildings of this size in Edmonton. It’s being called the Large Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure program. In exchange for providing the program with building information, owners will be offered “financial and non-financial incentives.” These include tenant information workshops, awards recognition and a rebate of up to $1,500 for the buildings that undergo commercial energy audits. They will also be advised on programs offered by Energy Efficiency Alberta that they might be able to take advantage of. Thirty-nine per cent of Edmonton’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, according to city numbers. The city has committed 20 of its own building to the program, including City Hall.

Mandatory water and energy use reporting begins this year in Ontario and the federal government has indicated it could become required across the country as early as 2019.

(Source: The Edmonton Journal)

Edmonton homebuyers can compare energy efficiency using new online map

Edmonton homebuyers have a new tool to learn how energy efficient a house is when they’re making their buying decision. The EnerGuide for Homes pilot program involves an evaluation where properties are assigned an EnerGuide rating for energy efficiency.

For a limited time, the City of Edmonton is providing a $400 rebate to owners of existing homes who have had an EnerGuide evaluation done, and who sign up to share their EnerGuide information on the map. Evaluation costs vary and are available from a number of private providers across the city. More information about the program is at (Source: Edmonton Sun)

Electricity Prices for Alberta

The Alberta power pool price averaged 1.678 cents per kWh in June 2017. This price is 0.512 cents lower than last month’s average of 2.190 cents per kWh. The pool price has averaged 2.038 cents per kWh over the last 12 months.

As of June 12, 2017, the forward market was predicting electricity prices for the calendar years of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. These prices are 3.20, 4.35, 4.375, and 4.4 cents per kWh respectively.

Gas Prices for Alberta

Direct Energy’s gas rate for June 2017 was $1.235 per GJ in Alberta. The July 2017 rate has been set at $1.822 per GJ. Alberta gas prices have averaged $2.384 per GJ over the last 12 months.

As of June 1, 2017, the forward market was predicting gas prices for the calendar years of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. These prices are 2.73, 2.66, 2.52, 2.55, 2.67, and 2.75 cents per GJ respectively.


British Columbia 

UBC utilizing Wi-Fi technology in order to reduce energy costs

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has found a way to use Wi-Fi technology to reduce its energy costs by using proprietary software that determines the number of people in a building then adjusts ventilation accordingly. The system makes use of the fact that almost everyone who uses the building has a Wi-Fi connection in their phone, laptop or tablet. So, all of those devices are connected by way of the campus Wi-Fi network. Based on the savings achieved in the Barber library, the school expects, when the new installations are complete later this year, to be able to save about $100,000 annually. (Source: Journal of Commerce)



Statement from Minister Thibeault on the Ontario Energy Board’s New Regulated Price Plan Electricity Rate Announcement

The Ontario Energy Board Regulated Price Plan announcement means that the average 25 per cent reduction will be in place effective July 1 for all households in Ontario, providing real and significant relief on hydro costs. As many as half a million small businesses and farms will also benefit. The 25 per cent includes the eight per cent rebate, equal to the provincial portion of the HST that took effect on January 1, 2017. The plan also holds any increases in electricity bills to the rate of inflation for four years.

Low-income Ontarians and those living in eligible rural or remote communities will receive even greater reductions, as much as 40 to 50 per cent on their bills through the already expanded Ontario Electricity Support Program and the broadening of the Rural or Remote Rate Protection program, while the delivery charge portion of residential electricity bills will be removed for on-reserve First Nations communities. (Source: Ontario)

Electricity Prices for Ontario

The Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) was an average of 0.472 cents per kWh in June 2017. This price is 0.216 cents higher than last month’s 0.256 cents per kWh. The weighted-average price was 0.589 cents per kWh during June 2017. The twelve month moving average was 1.751 cents per kWh up to June 2017.

The Actual Rate for the Global Adjustment rate Class B for June 2017 was set at 11.848 cents per kWh. The Global Adjustment is an additional charge paid by non-regulated customers. (Source: IESO)



Federal government excludes Saskatchewan from applying for low-carbon project funding

The provincial government intends to apply to a $2-billion federal fund for low-carbon projects, even though the federal government has barred Saskatchewan and Manitoba from access. The Low Carbon Economy Fund is open to provinces and territories that have adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which Saskatchewan and Manitoba have not. The province disagrees with the federal government’s plan to implement a carbon tax, which will begin next year at $10 per tonne and increase to $50 by 2022. If provinces don’t voluntarily implement the tax, the federal government will do it for them. Carbon tax revenue will remain in the province where it was collected.

The province is planning to sue the federal government. (Source: Regina Leader-Post)



Clarity needed on carbon pricing

MBA students studying sustainability economics at the Asper School of Business came to a conclusion that a carbon price of at least $140 per tonne appears to be necessary for Canada to achieve its commitment under the Paris Agreement. This is much higher than the level proposed by the federal government. A subtle but important factor in this is how the revenue from carbon pricing is actually spent. In Manitoba alone, the total revenue over the five-year period from 2018 through 2022 would likely exceed $1.5 billion. This could go a long way to funding a variety of higher-cost GHG-reduction measures, increasing the level of reduction achieved at a lower carbon price point. (Source: Winnipeg Free Press)


New Brunswick 

CNSC renews New Brunswick Power Corporation’s Nuclear Power Reactor Operating License for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to renew New Brunswick Power Corporation’s (NB Power) Nuclear Power Reactor Operating License for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS), located on the Lepreau Peninsula, NB. This decision was made following a two-part public hearing held on January 26, 2017 in Ottawa, ON and on May 9–11, 2017 in Saint John, NB. The license will be valid from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2022. (Source: Government of Canada News Release, June 15, 2017)


Prince Edward Island 

Renewable power the new focus for Island’s energy strategy

The P.E.I. government is developing a new energy strategy with a greater focus on renewable power. Energy minister Paula Biggar said the new plan will look at alternative power sources, such as solar. She said it will also focus on ways to make Island energy sustainable and low-cost.

“We’re really looking to look at a lot of new strategies that are out there that can reduce energy consumption on Prince Edward Island,” said Biggar. “That will be another plank in our strategy,” she added. “How can we encourage that and support that and look at alternative sources of heating and energy for Prince Edward Island.”

The next step will be a request for proposals, followed up with public consultations. (Source: CBC News)



Couillard government to invest $1.5 billion in clean energy

Source: The Province

Quebec’s provincial government is set to invest $1.5 billion over three years in programs that encourage clean energy and reduce the province’s dependence on oil. Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s minister of energy and natural resources, unveiled the province’s first action plan in its 2030 Energy Policy. It includes 42 measures to help accelerate the transition toward sustainable energy sources, notably hydro-electricity, wind, solar power and natural gas. Quebec hopes to reduce oil consumption in the province by 40 per cent by 2030, while eliminating the use of coal. The government will also ask Hydro-Québec to develop expertise in solar energy, build a solar park by the end of the year and plan a “smart and solar” house demonstration. The province will increase its hydro-electricity production, while ensuring that Quebec distributors inject a minimum 5 per cent of biofuels into their networks. (Source: The Province)


Newfoundland and Labrador 

NEIA releases study on offshore wind energy supply chain

Source: NEIA

The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) has released a study identifying the supply chain associated with offshore wind energy development, and analyzing the capacity within the province to meet development requirements. The report summarizes that Newfoundland and Labrador’s 30-year history operating in offshore environments provides a solid foundation for support of any future offshore wind energy industry. (Source: NEIA)


Nova Scotia 

Efficiency Nova Scotia expands programs to homes heated by oil and wood

Federal government puts in $56M over 5 years as part of its low carbon economy fund. People who heat their homes with oil or wood can now use Efficiency Nova Scotia programs that were previously restricted to electrically heated homes. In 2016, Efficiency Nova Scotia helped 2,300 people cut their heating bills. Efficiency Nova Scotia said people have saved $150 million on their energy bills by taking part in its various programs. (Source: CBC News)



Money the “key” to unlocking Iqaluit’s hydro project: Nunavut power corporation

The Qulliq Energy Corp. could save money in the long run by building two dams—one at Jaynes Inlet 60 kilometers southwest of Iqaluit and a second one at nearby Armshow South, but it lacks money. As it stands now, Nunavut spends $54 million a year on diesel, the largest item in the QEC budget. To pay for renovations to 13 of its 25 power plants, which are now operating “beyond their useful lifespan,” the QEC has to borrow money. So, the QEC appears to be in a vicious circle that would be nice to break: the Iqaluit hydroelectric project would cost less to operate over time and reduce money spent on diesel, however, the QEC has no money to build it because its existing plants siphon all its money for diesel purchases. The QEC report suggests that the impasse could change if the Government of Nunavut’s debt cap was increased to finance the project, or Canada gave money directly to the project, or private investors became involved. (Source: Nunatsiaq Online)


Northwest Territories 

Market Snapshot: Greenhouse gas emissions associated with residential electricity consumption vary significantly by province and territory

Carbon emissions associated with residential electricity consumption occur upstream, during electricity generation, and are less directly visible than other sectors, such as transportation. Residential consumption was associated with approximately 4% of Canadian GHG emissions. On a per capita basis, these emissions vary significantly by province and territory, ranging from a high of 3.1tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in Nova Scotia, to a low of 0.01tonnes of CO2e in Quebec. The Canadian per capita average was 0.72tonnes of CO2e. Across Canada, there is great variation even among jurisdictions within the same region. The four east coast provinces cover a wide range of demand levels and GHG intensities. On the Prairies, Alberta (2.252) and Saskatchewan (2.448) have relatively high GHG intensity of generation due to their use of coal, but Manitoba (0.025) sits on the opposite side of the spectrum because of its reliance on hydro power. Similarly, communities in the Northwest Territories (2.17) and Nunavut (3.005) rely mainly on diesel generators while the Yukon (0.2) is supplied mostly by hydro power. (Source: National Energy Board)



Yukon Energy asks to hike power rates by 9%

Source: CBC News

Yukon Energy says rising costs and aging infrastructure mean power rates need to go up for Yukoners — by about $181 a year, for the average homeowner. The company has applied to the Yukon Utilities Board to allow a nine per cent rate increase over two years. That would see the average residential power bill go up by about $12.29 per month this year, and an additional $2.83 per month next year. Yukon Energy’s last rate increase was in 2013. Since then, there have been negotiated salary increases for employees and ongoing costs to repair and upgrade equipment. (Source: CBC News)