SaskEnergy Managed Commodity Prices In A Pandemic, Reporting $ 59 Million Net Profit

The state-owned natural gas company posted a net profit of $ 59 million during the pandemic and posted its lowest prices in 20 years

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SaskEnergy was able to deliver its lowest rate per gigajoule in 20 years over 2020-2021 despite the pandemic and changing commodity prices.

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The crown corporation tabled its annual report Wednesday morning at the Legislative Assembly Building as part of the week-long report and release of the Saskatchewan Crowns Reports for the fiscal year.

Don Morgan, the minister responsible for SaskEnergy, praised the performance of the Crown during a difficult year and highlighted some of its environmental successes.

“In 2021, it reduced total greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 12,900 tonnes of carbon dioxide,” Morgan said. “This is equivalent to taking 2,800 cars off the road. “

According to the annual report, the volatility of global oil prices as well as the COVID-19 pandemic “have negatively impacted SaskEnergy customers and created uncertainty as to how the bottom line would be affected.”

SaskEnergy said it restructured its operations at the onset of the pandemic, focusing on “essential groundwork” and “reducing the number of integrated contractors” employed by the Crown.

To reduce costs, SaskPower reduced its investment programs by “about 40% to match customer demand.”

As a result of all of this, the company still posted net income of $ 59 million in 2020-21.

However, this is $ 7 million less than in the previous reporting period.

SaskEnergy customers paid $ 2.575 per gigajoule of electricity. When asked what other provinces pay, Ken From, President and CEO of SaskEnergy, said that in Alberta it varies by month, but in Manitoba rates start at $ 3. , although he did not specify what the exact price per gigajoule was.

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According to From, the Crown bought gas cheaply during the pandemic and is able to store it in the interim. But, commodity prices fluctuate constantly, having risen 75 percent in the past year, he said.

Over the coming year, the Crown anticipates continued demand from current customers as well as some agricultural growth.

“The heating load depends on what happens during a particular winter,” From said.

In a comparison of rates charged to consumers in Western Canada in June 2021, SaskEnergy offered the lowest rates per gigajoule. On average, Regina taxpayers pay $ 2.58, compared to Calgary where the average fare is $ 3.35 or Vancouver where the gigajoule fare is $ 4.24.

That said, the price remains “volatile” and it is still a bit early to make any projections on price or demand over the coming year.

It was also the safest year SaskEnergy has seen. According to the report, there were 1.43 recordable injuries per 100 employees in 2020-2021, the lowest rate in SaskEnergy history.

In addition, $ 1.8 million in rebates was sent to customers across the province, including homeowners and businesses “who have purchased and installed qualifying high efficiency natural gas heating systems.”

A new record was set in 2021 during a particularly deep frost. Daily gas consumption on February 12 reached 1.59 petajoules, according to the annual report.

“The weather was 2% colder than normal (for the whole year) resulting in an increase in delivery revenue which was partially offset by anticipated rate increases that did not occur as planned, ”according to a section of the report.

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This contrasts with findings later in the report that while the overall temperature was colder, the Saskatchewan winter “was 1% warmer than normal.”

The Crown added 3,001 clients in the past year, bringing its number of clients to over 400,000 in Saskatchewan, the highest on record.

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