Resolutions

Exempting Recreation Facilities from Natural Gas Rate Increases

Year: 2006

Resolution

Be it resolved that SUMA urge the Government of Saskatchewan recognize the significant role that recreation facilities play in maintaining healthy, active communities and exempt recreation facilities from natural gas rate increases.

Provincial Response

From: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Recreation Recreation facilities are the heart and soul of many communities in Saskatchewan. They provide opportunities for all residents to come together for physical and emotion well-being, a place to learn, to grow and to be engaged in the future of the community. The value that a recreation facility brings to the health and vitality of a community cannot be underestimated. Communities throughout Saskatchewan of facing similar problems with aging and deterioration of recreation facilities and high energy costs. Over half of Saskatchewan's recreation facilities are quickly approaching or have passed the end of their expected life span. To address this issue, Culture, Youth and Recreation is currently working with our partners to develop options to address this need. This work will move the province towards protecting its investment in facilities, communities and the overall health of our people. We are also working with our Federal and Provincial/Territorial partners to address the infrastructure concerns and to work towards solutions. In addition, the provincial government recently announced Community Share, which provides an incremental $32 million for municipal infrastructure. --- From: SaskEnergy The SUMA resolution is correct in outlining the short-term assistance of Energy Share which, for the past five months, has capped SaskEnergy's commodity rate at $7.95/Gigajoule, giving Saskatchewan customers short-term relief through high energy prices during peak winter natural gas consumption. This one-time program was intended to help customers make the transition to the current reality of higher North American natural gas prices. To facilitate that transition, the long-term assistance under the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan can be extremely valuable in reducing energy costs for SaskEnergy's General Service II customers, which include most recreational facilities. This series of six long-term energy conservation programs - the $45 one-time programmable thermostat rebate and the PST exemption on ENERGY STAR qualified furnaces and boilers, for example - may be of particular interest to SUMA members. Municipalities may also benefit from services of the SaskEnergy Commercial Network, which is comprised of independent mechanical contractors that can be of service to recreational facilities wanting to change out their existing heating equipment in favour of new energy-efficient models. Although higher natural gas costs are a new reality for all consumers, I believe that by working together, we can help our urban municipalities find lasting energy solutions throughout their operations, including their valuable recreational facilities.

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