Making Sense of Energy

Energy Market Update October 2016


Kent Howie, a Calgary Lawyer and specialist in the energy industry believes the NDP’s goal to phase out coal generation will not be as costly as everyone expects. Taking the lead from places such as California, Germany, and Ontario, Alberta can learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. Howie also believes that this phase out will prove to be entrepreneurial for Alberta, providing opportunities for “businesses, landowners, municipalities, First Nations.” (Source: Edmonton Journal)

Electricity Prices for Alberta
The Alberta power pool price averaged 2.537 cents per kWh in October 2016. This price is 0.768 cents lower than last month’s average of 1.769 cents per kWh. The pool price has averaged 1.837 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 2.70, 3.075, 3.725, 4.15, and 4.75 cents per kWh respectively.

Gas Prices for Alberta
Direct Energy’s gas rate for October was $2.659 per GJ in the North and $2.659 per GJ in the South. The November rate has been set at $3.303 per GJ in the North and $3.303 per GJ in the South. Alberta gas prices have averaged $1.983 per GJ over the last 12 months.

As of October 1, 2016, the forward market was predicting gas prices for the calendar years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. These prices are 2.69, 2.78, 2.75, 2.69, and 2.72 cents per GJ respectively.


British Columbia 

The two large dams west of Campbell River will not withstand a catastrophic earthquake, according to Shaun Koopman, the protective services coordinator for Strathcona Regional District. As a result, Campbell River residents are at a risk for flooding, when the “Big One’ hits. Koopman is warns residents and tourists that when shaking begins, to move as far inland and away from the river as possible in preparation for the potential flooding. Seismic Improvements to the John Hart Dam are set to begin in 2020 to help relieve pressure from the Strathcona Dam in preparation for future earthquakes. (Source: CBC News)

Photo: City of Campbell River



Hydro rates for residential customers are not set to rise this winter, for the first time since 2008. In addition, Ontario’s Energy minister, Glenn Thibeault, announced that as of January 1st 2017, the provincial portion of the HST will be removed from the bills which will save average residents approximately $130 a year. However, Hydro One is currently moving towards a fixed delivery rate instead of the current rate which is based on the kWh consumption. As a result, clients that use smaller amounts of electricity may see their bill increase between 3.4 to 6 per cent. (Source: Global News)

Electricity Prices for Ontario
The Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) was an average of 1.146cents per kWh in October 2016. This price is 0.383 cents higher than last month’s 1.529 cents per kWh. The weighted-average price was 1.268 cents per kWh during October 2016. The twelve month average was 1.477 cents per kWh up to October 2016.

The second estimate for the Global Adjustment rate for October 2016 was set at 11.78 cents per kWh. This actual rate paid was 9.531 cents in September 2016. The Global Adjustment is an additional charge paid by non-regulated customers. (Source: IESO)



$90 million have been spent by Husky Energy in response to the oil spill in Saskatchewan in July. Investigations into the cause of the spill are still under investigation and they now have until November 21st to provide a metallurgic review of the pipe and a geotechnical report on the affected land. In addition, Husky Energy announced that President and CEO Asim Ghosh, will be retiring as of December 5th and will be succeeded by Rob Peabody who is currently the Chief Operating Officer. (Source: Global News)



Photo source: CBC News

Manitoba Hydro is facing a massive debt of $13 billion, which is expected to rise up to $25 billion over the next three to four years. In order to try to manage the debt, Manitoba Hydro plans to institute a hiring freeze and increase electricity rates. They also plan to decrease their operating costs and will attempt to finish current projects with the funding they currently have. Manitoba Hydro is also hosting public sections across the province to educate the public and present their plans to manage the debt. (Source: CBC News)


New Brunswick 

NB Power CEO Gaetan Thomas announced that they will not be meeting their debt reduction plan by 2022. The previous conservative government had set the Crown Corporation’s goal to reduce their debt by $1 billion which is 20 per cent of their current debt. They also announced that they will have a difficult time trying to reach their goal of deriving 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. NB Power says that in order to reduce their debt, they need to raise their rates higher than the Energy Utility Board (EUB) has been allowing or decrease capital expenditure which can’t be avoided especially with the plan to invest in renewable resources. (Source: CBC News)


Prince Edward Island 

Photo credit: Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press

The PEI government is offering a rebate incentive for homeowners to do an EnerGuide home energy evaluation by HouseMaster Inspection Services. The energy evaluation costs $300, and the government is offering a $150 rebate which cuts the cost in half. The EnerGuide evaluation rates houses for energy efficiencies and shows homeowners changes they can make to improve their rating. Homeowners that complete the evaluation will also be eligible for rebates on eligible efficiency equipment up to $150. Information for the new rebate program can be found on the Efficiency PEI website. (Source: CBC News)



Forêt Hereford, a group that manages the Hereford forest says that it can’t support Hydro-Québec’s power line plan that would cut through the forest on the way to provide power to the United States. Although the group had previously said they would not oppose the project, they now can’t support it because of legal obligations that came with the donation of the land that state that no structures are to be built in the forest. The group would like, instead, for Hydro-Québec to build the line underground but Hydro-Québec maintains that an underground power line is too expensive and would have even bigger damages to the forest. The BAPE must submit their report to Environment Minister David Heurtel by January 25 2017. (Source: CBC News)


Newfoundland & Labrador 

In order to address concerns of methylmercury at the Muskrat Falls reservoir, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has ordered Nalcor to remove more forest cover. A review will be done to assess whether or not all the soil from the reservoir will have to be removed. Meanwhile, protestors continue to protest outside of the reservoir site and they are still skeptical of the government’s latest move. Nalcor states that they must move forward with the initial flooding to avoid ice buildup on the Churchill River which could cause damages to their assets. (Source: CBC News)


Nova Scotia 

Photo source: CBC

The Irving Oil Halifax Harbour Terminal opened on October 20th after an 18 month project that cost $80 million. At the same time, the Saint John refinery, which could play an important role in TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline, is currently closed while it is undergoing its annual maintenance. Irving Oil also plans to partner with TransCanada to build a dock in New Brunswick to export the crude oil from the pipeline and they believe that the Saint John refinery is the perfect place for the dock as the tide can accommodate any size ship. (Source: CBC News)



Qulliq Energy Corp. customers will be receiving a refund on their power bills until March 2017 thanks to plummeting bulk fuel prices. Compared to 2015, Qulliq Energy Corp. paid approximately 20 per cent less on their bulk fuel which resulted in a refund rider for consumers. Consumers can expect a return of 5.26 cents per kilowatt hour in the form of a furl stabilization rate rider on their bills. The rate refund is still under review by the Utility Rates Review Council before it is set to take effect. For a residential homeowner who uses 700 kilowatt hours per month, they will pay approximately $38.62 less per month. (Source: Nunatsiaq Online)


Northwest Territories 

The Northern Way report suggests that for the Northwest Territories to reduce their diesel generated electricity in half, they will have to spend between $300 million and $780 million. The report also estimates that a carbon tax could generate up to $225 million in revenue which could be reinvested into the province. The report also suggests that the territory begins with building hybrid micro-grids which will be more cost efficient than mega-project. Michael Mittenberger, one of the co-authors of the report, presented the report to all members of the legislative assemble in the hopes that it will help speed up the decision making process for the Territory. (Source: CBC News)

Photo credit: NWT Power Corporation



During the first week of the Yukon election campaign, all three parties are making promises about the renewable energy in the Yukon. The Yukon party is warning voters against their opponents’ plan to introduce a carbon tax. The Yukon Party plans to have a “made-in-Yukon” plan that will include $47 million of upgrades to 20 Yukon schools. The NDP plan to spend $50 million over five years to help fund the renewable energy sector, and believe that the money from the federal carbon tax will help them fund a third of their promised investments. The Liberals, among other things, plan to spend $30 million in renewable resources and hope the federal government will help cover costs. (Source: CBC News)