News & Updates

Canadian Federal Parties and their Energy Policies

Oct 8, 2019

One of the largest factors playing into the voting decision of many professionals in the energy management industry, whether that be natural gas, electricity producers, or facility managers, is of course: ENERGY.

Canadian Energy Strategies has summarized where the 4 major political parties in the Canadian Federal election sit on different issues, and what they have promised to do, if elected to lead Canada. For simplicity, the three largest commitments from each party have been provided. For fully detailed plans from each party, please visit the cited links at the bottom of this post.


Repeal the Carbon Pricing Plan                                                    

The most discussed talking point of the Conservative party this election is their disdain for the Federal Carbon Pricing backstop. Implemented by the Liberal party for provinces that either did not have their own form of carbon pricing, or those that (like Ontario) repealed a previously accepted form of carbon pricing, the Federal backstop has become a controversial talking point for all parties.

Repeal Bill C-69                                                                       

Another major pledge that puts the Conservative party at odds with the other 3 parties, which clump more closely together on the political spectrum, is the repeal of Bill C-69. The Bill, which was introduced and passed by the current Liberal party, shifts the focus heavily toward environmental considerations for new energy projects. The Conservative party views this Bill as a way of severely limiting gas pipeline projects’ likelihood of passing, and so have pledged to repeal it if they come to power.

Introduce Mandatory R&D Investment for Large Emitters     

To replace the carbon pricing plan currently in place, the Conservative party would adopt a more widely spread program, similar in nature to the existing Output-Based Pricing System, which would also be eliminated. The proposed program would apply only to those businesses that produce more than 40 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases per year. It would require companies to invest in R&D for green technology, to offset or eliminate the emissions of the high emitters. For low emitters, like households, there is a 20% tax credit for green improvements up to $20,000 being offered.


Cancel Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion and Halt New Fossil Fuel Projects 

Arguably on the furthest opposite end of the spectrum from the Conservative Party, in terms of Energy reform, the Green party wants to cancel the Trans Mountain Pipeline project, which was introduced in a bipartisan motion from both the Liberal and Conservative parties, to expand bitumen mining operations in northern Alberta. Under a Green-led government, Canada would also see a ban on hydraulic fracking, and no approvals of any new pipelines, nor coal, oil or gas drilling.

Increase Emissions Target to 60% by 2030 

The Green party would also aim to increase Canada’s emissions reduction target from the current 30%, up to 60% by 2030. They would accomplish this feat by halting all new fossil fuel development projects, while introducing new measures to ensure that 100% of Canada’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.

Finance Incentives Program for Residential Green Technology Adoption  

The Green party would also finance the building of retrofits and new installation of renewable energy technologies through grants, and other financial incentives.


Continue with Carbon Pricing Plan                                              

The Liberal Party, which is currently in power going into the Federal election, is sticking by the pledges that it made in 2015, and introduced in the 4 years since then. The carbon pricing backstop, currently in effect in 4 provinces and 2 territories, will increase at a rate of $10 per tonne of CO2e or the equivalent thereof, per year, until 2022.

Net-Zero Emissions by 2050                                                                   

In a relatively new pledge, the Liberal Party has committed to our nation becoming carbon neutral by 2050 if their party remains in power. While this doesn’t mean that all industries must find ways to make their processes carbon neutral, they will have to offset any emissions through initiatives that reduce the CO2e by the same amount that they are emitting. Initiatives could include planting trees, or mechanical carbon sequestering, although details haven’t been fully fleshed out.

$5 Billion Clean Power Fund

In an effort to shift Canada away from fossil fuel power generation, the Liberal party is committing to setting up a $5 billion fund dedicated to the electrification of the various industries in Canada, including resource and manufacturing sectors. The fund will also aim to convert Indigenous and remote communities from fossil fueled power and heating to renewable energy solutions.


Abandon the Trans Mount Pipeline Project 

In a statement released following the National Energy Board’s recommended approval of the pipeline expansion, the NDP spoke against the project. Citing an increase in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in marine shipping that would affect ecosystems on the west coast, the NDP urged the Federal government to reconsider. Since the project has ultimately been approved, the NDP have pledged to abandon the project if brought into power.

Reduce 2030 Greenhouses Gas Emissions by 37% 

By increasing the emissions reduction commitment to 450 megatonnes, by 2030, the NDP would sit between the Green Party (60% reduction) and Liberal Party (30%) at a projected 37% reduction goal for Canada. They intend to accomplish this by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, retrofitting housing stock, and establishing a Canadian Climate Bank to invest in a low carbon economy.

Revamp Canadian Electricity Grid Away from Fossil Fuels 

Under this plan, the NDP would commit to shifting the Canadian grid to net carbon-free electricity by 2030, and non-emitting electricity by 2050. This would include a phase out of coal and natural gas power plants, as well as the eventual shuttering of nuclear power plants, that would be replaced by wind, solar and hydroelectric plants, as well as any new technologies that do not require the production of greenhouse gasses in order to produce electricity.



New Developments in Natural Gas Storage Solutions

Aug 12, 2019

This year we've seen continued growth in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) distribution out of the US. Currently there is approximately 7% of the total US dry gas production being shipped by way of transport tanker to Europe and Asian markets. New research has created a really interesting technology that may change the way natural gas is stored and shipped.

















New research has emerged in the field of Absorbed Natural Gas (ANG). ANG is an alternative to Compressed or Liquified Natural Gas (CNG and LNG), which may include a process that is both more financially feasible and safer to handle than the two current options.

Currently, natural gas requires either a very high pressure (CNG) or a very low temperature (LNG) to convert it into a format for easy storage or transportation at sizable volumes of the commodity. Two researchers from Texas A&M University have created a polymer, plastic-based material that can absorb natural gas at relatively low pressures, and unload once pressure is released, to release the natural gas later on, much like a sponge.

While the field of ANG is not a brand new one, it has been plagued with issues like materials heating up upon absorption, as well as adsorbent capacity, which was dramatically increased “well above the target for materials in order to considered [commercially] feasible, which is determined by U.S. Department of Energy”. Adding to this the fact that it apparently has a very cheap production cost, relative to current options, makes it an even more attractive format to store natural gas.

The new ANG solution has been tested not only in a controlled, lab environment, but also in more realistic application scenarios. In a real-world test where pressurized gas was transferred to a cylinder full of the absorbent, the material topped current records by over 20%.

This research is exceptional, not only for storage solutions but also for transportation. While natural gas burns approximately 30% cleaner than oil and over 40% cleaner than coal, methane released by gas leaks in transport may offset much of the benefit to the climate. Incorporating a solid-state absorption method may help create a much more stable medium for transportation and storage than what is currently being used. If this method is also more economically feasible, then we should be expecting to see this technology being rapidly and widely adopted over the next decade.



Carbon Pricing in Ontario Begins August 2019

Jul 8, 2019

Over the past month, large moves have been made on the fate of the Federal carbon pricing backstop in Ontario. Companies will be seeing a new line item on their Enbridge bills beginning next month, with a $0.0391/m3 charge being added and back-billed to include all gas consumed from April 1st onward.


The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled on the challenge presented by Premier Doug Ford on Friday, June 28th. The challenge, alleging that the Federal Government’s carbon pricing backstop was an unlawful tax, intruding on provincial jurisdiction was rejected by 4 of the 5 judges, forming a majority decision.


Following the decision of the Court of Appeal judiciary panel, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released a memo on Thursday, July 4th. The document stated that it had reached a decision on Enbridge Gas/Union Gas’ proposal to add the carbon price on natural gas to its August 2019 bills. The OEB has ordered Enbridge to add a carbon price of $0.0391/m3 of natural gas as a separate line item on their bills, beginning next month. For the month of August, the line item will be back-billed to April 2019.


The Federal carbon pricing backstop was implemented after Doug Ford’s administration scrapped the Cap & Trade program introduced by the previous Wynne-led Government. As a part of their climate change plan, the Federal Government introduced a backstop measure after Ontario was left with no price on carbon, to begin in April 2019. The backstop pricing is expected to remain in effect until at least the beginning of November. With Federal elections taking place in late October, there is the possibility of a new Government coming in, that will repeal or replace the pricing backstop that the current Government has in place. Another possibility is that the decision made by the Ontario Court of Appeal will be challenged and overruled at the Federal level in the Supreme Court of Canada.


For more information on the carbon pricing, how it will affect your business, and what steps you can take to mitigate the cost increase, reach out to us at


Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Jun 19, 2019

Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Earlier this week the Trudeau government announced the approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. This constantly delayed project has been years in the making and has been foiled many times by legal appeals and resistance from the BC government.

What this means for Canadian Oil and Gas Producers:

With the pipeline expansion Alberta will finally see a cost-effective route to the BC which will open the door to Asia, Russia and the Pacific coast. Alberta oil has been

Oil rigs have been declining for years and we’re now at a 20-year low in rig production in Canada. Given the opportunity for new demand on the west coast we should see an increase in production out of the Alberta sector.

Pricing has been heavily dependent on the US market as well as the Canadian market. Given the overall dip in cost per barrel over the past few years, the new markets in Asia and the Pacific should create a much higher profit portal for Canadian producers.

What this means for Gas pipelines in Canada:

Given the Premier’s position on Climate Change and the Liberal Government reluctance to rock the boat prior to the election, the outlook should look promising for pipeline construction. The Premier noted that this is a key step in “bridging the gap” between the low carbon future we want and the current carbon marketplace. To create the investment money in Green Technology we need “money to pay for it”.

It’s promising to see the Premier understand that our natural resource will provide Canada with the means to fund the low carbon technology we are needing as we move forward!

As always, we are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding your energy budgeting and spending. We are in tune with all the markets and how these Government decisions will affect your business. From Carbon taxes, to audit incentives our team has the tools you need to make the best decisions in your energy budgeting.




Should Canada Introduce More Pipelines?

Mar 5, 2019

Natural gas is nearly universally accepted as the bridge resource between emissions-heavy fossil fuels and the green-tech movement. It is the ideal commodity to do the job, especially in North America, where the introduction of new drilling techniques in the mid 2000’s allowed access to enough natural gas to power the continent for decades to come. The big benefit of natural gas over other fossil fuels, from an environmental perspective is that, when combusted, it produces far less CO2 than other fuel sources. The idea is that natural gas will help shift energy demand away from coal, and “fill in the gaps” of cleaner energy sources like wind and solar, which are currently unable to provide 24-hour energy.


As the cost of renewable and green technologies drop, and energy costs associated with these technologies continue to drop, a looming question emerges: Should we continue to invest in expanding the infrastructure for a “bridge energy source”?


This question is especially pertinent in Canada, where the lack of pipelines to take away the natural gas produced in Alberta has led to a bottoming out of natural gas prices. Prices peaked several times in the early and late 2000’s, before advanced drilling techniques created more supply than could be taken away by the existing infrastructure. Since then, prices have plummeted to record lows.


Introducing more pipelines to take away this commodity will allow for prices to rise, as the takeaway capabilities rise to match the supply levels. Other factors, like building liquid natural gas (LNG) plants on the costs of Canada could allow for natural gas producers to sell their product for more, as foreign markets crave the energy source. Both Asian and European markets offer opportunities for lucrative long-term gas purchasing contracts, bringing with them economic viability for decades to come. The argument has transformed into a debate over whether the economic benefits or environmental impact of natural gas are more important.


Since the case has been stated for the economic benefits of natural gas, let’s look at the environmental implications of further expanding natural gas infrastructure through new pipelines. There are several avenues that must be looked at when considering the impacts that new pipelines will have: short-term and long-term.


The short-term impacts include the potential of leaks, explosions (as we saw in November with Fortis BC) and intrusions on local ecosystems as more space is carved out for pipelines. Canada has some of the highest standards in the world for pipeline regulations. Current alternatives to pipelines include trucking the gas, and transporting it via rail, both options are less regulated and require fuel to transport.


The long-term impact of introducing new infrastructure is that these multi-million to multi-billion-dollar projects often have payback periods that stretch decades into the future. With a majority of environmental experts agreeing that humanity needs to become carbon neutral by mid-century, investing in the future of natural gas is opposing these observations. While natural gas is a cleaner burning energy source than most other fossil fuels, it is not carbon neutral.


Recent events involving pipeline explosions across North America, with the most notable Canadian incident involving the explosion of one of two FortisBC pipelines feeding the lower region of British Columbia have increased the tensions surrounding the subject of future pipelines. The recent pipeline failures have caused prices in some markets to skyrocket as supply becomes incredibly limited. Utility costs in both BC, as well as Ontario have increased as costs of maintaining and repairing pipelines jump. As utility costs soar and are expected to remain high for Q2 and Q3 of 2019, the door opens for independent natural gas marketers, like Canadian Energy Strategies, to source gas through non-traditional pipelines. The flexibility of independent marketers means that companies like ours are not tethered to one region or supplier to source natural gas. When Trans Canada Pipeline costs are too high, CESi can bring gas through the Vector pipeline to serve the Ontario and Quebec demand of our client base.


Canadian Energy Strategies benefits from lower transport costs and transfers those savings to our customers. For more information about how our active management has proven superior year after year, and how to take advantage of our natural gas sourcing program, please reach out to us at


Winter Natural Gas Spikes Will Have a Lasting Effect for Utilities

Jan 2, 2019

As expected, the 2018/2019 winter season has been full of volatility in the natural gas markets, both in North America and globally. Prices rose dramatically in November with cold weather forecasts. In much the same way, prices dropped significantly near the end of December among mild weather forecasts for the beginning of January.


Natural Gas Futures


With storage levels continuing to be at the bottom of the range for this time of the year in over a decade, expect to see these massive swings in pricing continue as weather forecasts change. With storage levels hovering between 18-20% below both last year and the 5 year average all winter, weather forecasts will be the primary driver for pricing.


Nat Gas Working


Businesses that have hedged their natural gas pricing are seeing significant savings this winter. Those businesses on the utility rate, however, would be wise to consider a switch to market rates for their natural gas in the coming months. Enbridge and Union Gas have been stuck selling gas at much lower rates than they have been purchasing it for, as they are required by the OEB to set 3 month pricing ahead of time. In order to recover from this cost difference, both of the two major Ontario natural gas providers are increasing their rates. Union Gas has increased their rate by 3¢, with Enbridge increasing their rate by 2.5¢ to a little over 18¢/m3 and 13¢/m3, respectively.


Nat Gas Rates


These rates will hold until at least April, although they will likely persist longer as the utilities recover lost profits from the winter months. If January and February turn out to be colder than currently forecasted, businesses sourcing their gas through a utility should expect to see high rates for all of 2019, with the potential for rates to increase further.


For more information, or to learn why right now is the perfect time for businesses purchasing natural gas at a utility rate to switch over to a market rate, please send me an email at and let’s start a conversation.