Canada’s approach to carbon pollution pricing makes sure that all proceeds go back into the economy while making life more affordable for families. Whether through payments to families, or investments in clean industry projects, pollution pricing is an essential tool for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change, and grow a clean, strong economy.

With this in mind, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the Government of Canada is fulfilling its commitment to return approximately $174 million of pollution pricing proceeds to the Government of Saskatchewan through the Future Electricity Fund. The Future Electricity Fund returns proceeds to support clean-energy projects, energy-efficient technologies, and other initiatives that will help Canada meet its climate goals and achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The funds “will help the province modernize their electricity grid, while giving families the power to use electricity in affordable, reliable ways. Investments from this fund are helping to create clean air, good jobs, and the development of a resilient low-carbon economy,” says Minister Guilbeault.

Funding provided through the Future Electricity Fund will power projects to advance clean electricity in Saskatchewan and make energy more affordable and reliable for families. Saskatchewan will modernize how electricity is delivered to residential homes by implementing new smart-meter technologies, which will allow residents to power their homes more efficiently, and potentially save money by reducing their energy use.

Funding will support further upgrades to electricity infrastructure through the Distribution Rural Rebuild and Improvement Program to reduce emissions and deliver more reliable power to rural communities across the province. Funding will also contribute to refurbishing the E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station, supporting the supply of renewable energy in the province.

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With the Future Electricity Fund, Canada can create a strong, sustainable energy system that benefits the environment, the economy, and families. The fund will also help spur innovation and encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies and fuels in Canada.

When it comes to clean electricity, Canada’s future is bright. The Future Electricity Fund will enable Canadians to power their homes and businesses more affordably, reliably, and efficiently.

The funding agreement with Saskatchewan will support three SaskPower projects:

    • The Smart Meter Deployment Project: this project will support electrical grid modernization and improve grid reliability and resilience by deploying smart meter technologies to residential homes throughout the province. Smart meters would provide ratepayers with greater access to energy consumption data to help modify behaviours and reduce overall energy consumption. Meters would provide SaskPower with real-time electricity consumption and power outage updates, thereby eliminating much of the need for physical travel and the associated greenhouse gases.
    • The Distribution Rural Rebuild and Improvement Program: this project will see aging rural electrical distribution infrastructure rebuilt by moving lines out of farm fields and into public right of ways, and by replacing aging infrastructure that is in poor condition. Energy and demand savings will be achieved by reducing line losses. Ultimately, this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the replacement of aging infrastructure will improve the performance and reliability of SaskPower’s distribution system.
    • The E.B. Campbell Unit 1 to 6 Life Extension: the project will improve the reliability and resilience of Saskatchewan’s electric grid by extending the life and increasing the efficiency of the E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station. Life extension and infrastructure improvements would allow for an increase in consistent renewable energy generation to be supplied into the system, thereby offsetting and reducing other carbon-emitting generation.
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The Future Electricity Fund is comprised of proceeds collected from electricity-generating facilities covered by the federal Output-Based Pricing System Proceeds Fund. These proceeds are being returned through funding agreements with provincial or territorial governments where the federal carbon pollution pricing system for industry currently applies, or applied in the past, to support clean electricity initiatives. This will result in the production and provision of clean electricity and decrease the use of greenhouse gas-emitting resources.

Featured image: E.B. Power Hydro facility in Saskatchewan. (Image credit: SaskPower.)

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