POP: Rural Gas Program
Res #: POP 4-18M
Responses Received: Yes
WHEREAS the cost of installation of natural gas services to rural residents has become cost prohibitive and is preventing many rural ratepayers from accessing this service;
WHEREAS the Province of Saskatchewan has provided assistance under the Rural Gas Program in the past;
WHEREAS the Province of Alberta provides assistance under the Alberta Rural Gas Program.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby SaskEnergy regarding a program to assist rural residence, businesses and industries for a 50 per cent cost-share reduction in the cost of rural gas services.
Responses From: SaskEnergy
October 3, 2022
Unfortunately, the 50 per cent cost-share reduction recommended in the expiring resolution is not feasible for SaskEnergy.
Every natural gas service quote is unique and can require road, rail, utility, and/or waterbody crossings, additional easements and approvals, and environmental and heritage surveys. These requirements can impact a project’s cost. Currently, to reduce customer contributions for new service applications, SaskEnergy applies an appropriate level of utility investment based on the customer’s load, duration of use and lifetime of the gas requirement. In 2021, SaskEnergy invested about $20 million in new service connect ions across the province.
Where natural gas capacity is available close to a farm or rural residence, SaskEnergy can provide a price that has a reasonable payback period. However, if a property is far away from existing SaskEnergy infrastructure, or where there is a lack of available natural gas distribution capacity in an area, new service requests can result in price quotes that are often not economic for the applicants.
If SaskEnergy were to subsidize new service connect ions for remote and rural locations, customers across Saskatchewan would see increased natural gas bills over the next 20 years, as the cost of the debt incurred would be borne by SaskEnergy’s full customer base.
Natural gas is a safe and reliable fuel source that has less environmental impact compared to other fossil fuels. It has become the fuel of choice for many in our province.
New customers who wish to receive SaskEnergy’s natural gas service can submit a service application to the Corporation at saskenergy.com/services/residential–new-service. Following receipt of the application, Sask Energy will provide a service quote for the applicant to consider.
The Honourable Don Morgan – Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy, SaskEnergy