Making Sense of Energy

Energy Market Update November 2016


Starting on June 1, 2017, the Alberta NDP government will cap the consumer power rates at 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour in the first step to moving away from the current deregulated market. The cap rate is based on a 5 year forecast conducted by private operators. If the regulated rate option (RRO) is below the cap, consumers on the RRO will pay the lower rate. (Source: CBC News)

Electricity Prices for Alberta

The Alberta power pool price averaged 1.632 cents per kWh in November 2016. This price is 0.905 cents lower than last month’s average of 2.537 cents per kWh. The pool price has averaged 1.797 cents per kWh over the last 12 months.

As of November 4, 2016, the forward market was predicting electricity prices for the calendar years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. These prices are 3.20, 3.26, 3.975, 4.275, and 4.70 cents per kWh respectively.

Gas Prices for Alberta

Direct Energy’s gas rate for November was $3.303 per GJ in the North and $3.303 per GJ in the South. The December rate has been set at $2.579 per GJ in the North and $2.579 per GJ in the South. Alberta gas prices have averaged $2.057 per GJ over the last 12 months.

As of November 1, 2016, the forward market was predicting gas prices for the calendar years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. These prices are 2.57, 2.73, 2.89, 2.89, and 2.92 cents per GJ respectively.


British Columbia 

Photo source: CBC News

Using new metering technologies, BC Hydro is more accurately identifying sources of electricity theft, most of which stems from marijuana grow ops. The measurements from the new TGI Raptor 3 sensors are compared to in-home smart meter reads and the discrepancies between the two are used to locate where power is being siphoned from the grid. It is estimated that 850 gigawatt hours per year is stolen from the grid which is equivalent to the power used by approximately 77,000 BC homes. (Source: CBC News)



Photo source: CTV

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, has admitted on behalf of her government her mistake in not realizing the impact that their energy policies had on consumers. The government is now working towards the possibility of introducing a more flexible billing plans for consumers to help provide relief to consumers. Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, believes that consumers should be able to tailor their hydro plan to best suit their needs, much like consumers shopping around for an internet or cellphone plan. Thibeault says they will consider and review any options that will help lower costs for customers. (Source: CTV News)

Electricity Prices for Ontario

The Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) was an average of 1.493 cents per kWh in November 2016. This price is 0.347 cents higher than last month’s 1.146 cents per kWh. The weighted-average price was 1.611 cents per kWh during November 2016. The twelve month average was 1.525 cents per kWh up to November 2016.

The second estimate for the Global Adjustment rate for November 2016 was set at 11.50 cents per kWh. This actual rate paid was 11.109 cents in November 2016. The Global Adjustment is an additional charge paid by non-regulated customers. (Source: IESO)



Saskatchewan has signed an equivalency deal with the federal government that tailors the transition to renewable energy to the needs of the province and its people. The deal allows Saskatchewan more flexibility and will allow them to continue to use coal past the 2030 deadline so long as the emission reduction outcomes are still met and the coal plants are run responsibly. The federal government has also accepted Saskatchewan’s carbon capture and storage practices as a means of reducing their carbon emissions. SaskPower and the Saskatchewan government will consider option over the next two years to develop a plan. (Source: CBC News)



Manitoba Hydro’s net income has dropped more than two-thirds from $125 million in 2014-2015 to $39 million in the most recent fiscal year. Debt has risen by approximately $2 billion. Manitoba Hydro say that the lower income is due to the mild winter, and believe that a return to average winter weather will increase their income. The Crown Corporation’s Board chair, Sanford Riley, said that the utility is considering asking the province for an equity investment. (Source: CBC News)


New Brunswick 

Despite having to shut down the Belledune Generating Station by 2030 NB Power says that rates will not increase as sharply as previously believed. Deborah Nobes, an NB Power spokesperson said that previous comments regarding the increase in rates were made without considering potential co-operation and financial help from the federal government. Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the federal government will work with the provinces to ensure minimal impact on rates and consumers. (Source: CBC News)


Prince Edward Island 

A campaign by Maritime Electric, called Lighting it Forward, is encouraging Islanders to install LED lights in their homes. Along with distributing educational flyers, the utility is also holding a contest where customers have a chance to win up to $250 worth of LED lights. The campaign is part of a bigger conservation that was submitted, but rejected by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) because it was not believed to make a difference to energy consumption. (Source: CBC News)

Photo source: Maritime Electric



Hydro-Québec has signed an agreement with Réseau de transport d’éléctricité (RTE) for joint acquisition opportunities. RTE is Europe’s largest electricity transmission network. The agreement will also allow for the sharing of research and development solutions and the sharing of knowledge, primarily in the area of worker safety. Hydro President and CEO Éric Martel specified that by signing the agreement with RTE, Hydro Québec is not restricted for potential future acquisitions outside of Europe and that their partnership is not limited to the European market. (Source: Montreal Gazette)


Newfoundland and Labrador 

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Premier Dwight Ball and Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard met one-on-one to discuss projects to benefit both provinces, including a possible collaboration on future hydroelectric projects like the Gull Island project. NL and Québec are currently still in dispute over the 1969 Upper Churchill hydroelectric contract which NL claims has unfairly benefitted Québec. NL has lost all 17 times that the two provinces have been to court. Quebec Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said there is a possibility of reviewing the contract if all court actions are dropped. (Source: CBC News)


Nova Scotia 

A 1,000-tonne, five-storey turbine lowered to the floor of the Minas Passage has been connected to the grid and has generated two megawatts of electricity. It is the first successful grid-connected tidal turbine in North America. Previous attempts to try to harness the tidal power in the Minas Passage have been unsuccessful because the blades were destroyed by the force of the water. The energy produced by the turbine is eight times more expensive than the average price of electricity but consumers are paying a rate subsidized by the government and executives at OpenHydro believe that the cost will decrease over time with the refinements of technology and standardization. So far there have not been any environmental impacts of the turbine on the surrounding environment and wildlife. (Source: CBC News)




The Nunavut Arctic College will receive nearly $30 million in funding to development of brand new state-of-the-art facilities. The federal government will invest $10 million which will be combined with the $18.9 million committed by the Nunavut government. The expansion will include new labs for students as well as classrooms for language and culture studies.  Nunavut Education Minister Paul Quassa, said that the expansion of the college will be a tremendous addition and will help them continue to provide programs to build a representative workforce. (Source: Nunatsiaq Online)


Northwest Territories 

Avalon Advanced Materials won the award for best use of renewable energy at an exploration site at the Energy and Mine’s Renewables in Mining Awards in Toronto for their Nechalacho project east of Yellowknife. Avalon installed solar panels, a battery bank, and inverters to help reduce their use of diesel. They also installed 10 digitally-controlled diesel heaters replacing inefficient and hard to control heater which saved the company approximately $1,000 per week per heater. (Source: CBC News)



The Yukon Surface Rights Board rejected the application of two Dawson City miners who wanted to flatten the land in a Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation neighbourhood to build a mine. The application requested that all buildings, sewers, water and power lines be removed from the land which is home to approximately 40 families. The neighbourhood is partially on old claims that the miners own. The board rejected the application because they claim that the miners did not make sufficient effort to work out the issues with the First Nation before asking the board to intervene. In addition, the board claims that the miners did not disclose other parties who have interest in the mine and they did not prove that the board had legal authority to fulfill what they were asking for. The board said that the miners are able to resubmit their application. (Source: Yukon News)