Management’s Discussion and Analysis
Commodity Margin SaskEnergy sells natural gas to its distribution customers at a commodity rate approved by Provincial Cabinet based on the recommendations of the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel (SRRP). The commodity rate, which is reviewed April 1 and November 1 of each year, is determined based on rate-setting principles and is designed to recover the realized costs associated with the sale of natural gas to distribution customers. Regulatory principles require that utilities do not earn a profit or realize losses on the sale of gas to customers over the long term. Consequently, SaskEnergy accumulates differences between the commodity revenue earned and the cost of natural gas sold in a Gas Cost Variance Account (GCVA). The balance in the GCVA, which is not included in SaskEnergy’s financial statements, is either recovered from, or refunded to, customers as part of future commodity rates. For financial reporting purposes, SaskEnergy prepares its financial statements on a consolidated basis while applying IFRS. Consequently, the amounts determined for rate-setting purposes are different than those reported within its IFRS consolidated financial statements. A gain or
loss reported in the Corporation’s consolidated financial statements may not be reflected in the GCVA. SaskEnergy’s natural gas price risk management program has two objectives: to reduce the impact of natural gas price volatility on the cost of gas, and to support rates that are competitive with other utilities. Reducing the impact of price volatility requires establishing certainty in the cost of gas, while supporting competitive rates often means allowing purchase prices to follow market prices. As a result, the balance between the two opposing objectives may change depending on current market conditions. In order to ensure a secure supply of natural gas, SaskEnergy contracts for the physical delivery of natural gas using non-financial derivatives, referred to as forward or physical natural gas contracts. The purchase price contained in these forward contracts may be fixed, or it may be based on a variable index price. While fixed price contracts reduce the impact of natural gas price volatility, variable or market prices can assist in offering competitive rates depending on the pricing environment. SaskEnergy may also use financial derivatives and physical swaps to manage the future purchase price of natural gas.
The commodity margin on sales to customers, as reported in the consolidated financial statements, was as follows:
March 31, 2021
March 31, 2020
( 12 )
Realized margins on commodity sales Unrealized fair value adjustments
( 10 )
Margin on commodity sales
The Corporation’s realized margin on commodity sales for the 12 months ending March 31, 2021 was $12 million lower than the same period ending March 31, 2020. During 2020-21, the average commodity margin was $0.18 per GJ lower than the average commodity margin of $0.35 per GJ through 2019-20.
The realized margin on commodity sales excludes the impact of unrealized fair value adjustments on derivative instruments, as these adjustments can fluctuate significantly from one period to the next and do not necessarily represent the amount that will be paid upon settlement of the related natural gas contract.
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