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NEB expects moderate energy price increases

Canadian consumers can expect energy prices to remain stable over the summer as energy demand will continue to increase alongside the global economy, according to the National Energy Board (NEB), Canada's national energy regulator, in this year's Summer Outlook.

 

However, the NEB adds that with growing world oil demand, especially in non-OECD countries, there is the potential that oil/gasoline prices will increase slightly in comparison to the previous summer.

 

“As the Canadian and global economies continue to recover, the demand for energy will return to previous levels,” said Gaétan Caron, chair of the NEB. “This has resulted in our expectation of moderately higher energy prices this summer over last.”

 

This summer, NEB says OPEC’s spare capacity and healthy global oil inventory levels are keeping world markets well supplied and reducing the pressure for price increases. But due to key uncertainties related to the global economic recovery, the NEB expects crude oil to average US $75 to $85 per barrel over the next six months.

 

For electricity the NEB expects the Canadian supply to be adequate over the next six months. Supply additions over the summer are low or zero emissions mostly natural gas-fired generation, with over 1,000 MW of new units coming online. By the end of the year, several new wind farms should be operational in Canada, representing about 800 MW of new renewable energy supply. In some regions demand management programs have been successful in reducing electricity peak demand, according to the NEB.

 

The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of Canada's energy industry. For more information, go to www.neb-one.gc.ca.