Mr. Speaker, the cost of energy is one of the leading contributors to the high cost of living in the Northwest Territories. Wherever possible, our government has been seeking opportunities to pass savings to our residents, and today I can report that the ongoing low wholesale price for heating fuel and gasoline has made it possible for the Department of Public Works and Services to pass on savings to residents in two of our smaller communities.
Sixteen NWT communities receive essential fuel products through the Department’s Fuel Services Program. On August 17, 2015, the Fuel Services Division was able to lower the price of Lutselk’e gasoline by 7 cents per litre, heating fuel by 4 cents per litre and diesel fuel by 13 cents a litre. In Tulita, heating fuel was lowered 10 cents a litre and diesel was lowered 18 cents a litre.
The other marine resupplied communities, Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok, have not yet had their final prices calculated, but projections are that there will be price reductions in the range of 4 to 16 cents for heating fuel, 12 to 24 cents for diesel and 2 to 14 cents for gasoline by late October.
Our commitment to pass on savings through the Petroleum Products Program is evidenced by the price reductions we have achieved in the past year. In looking at gasoline prices in communities served by Public Works and Services they have declined as much as 12 percent, with heating fuel prices declining as much as 21 percent compared to the prices this time last year. On average, the price of gasoline has dropped by 7 percent and the price for heating fuel has dropped by 9 percent over the past year.
While lower fuel prices have provided some relief from the high cost of living to residents, the Department of Public Works and Services is committed to improving energy awareness and the adoption of efficient technology and behaviours in support of our government’s vision of an environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories.
The Fuel Services Division is a key function in the newly established Energy activity within the Department of Public Works and Services. The Energy activity is also actively engaged in identifying renewable and alternative fuels and energy solutions to better support the GNWT’s goals of energy efficiency, sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction.
Mr. Speaker, the Fuel Services Division is committed to passing on cost savings on fuel products it provides wherever possible. We anticipate that with the present stability in the market price for fuel, the Department will be able to pass savings on to the other communities that are resupplied by barge this year.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.