December 1, 2016 1:59 pm
Updated: December 1, 2016 2:47 pm

SaskPower rate increase coming next month

SaskPower bills will be going up 3.5 per cent starting on January 1.

Alexa Huffman / Global News
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People can expect to see an increase on their power bills starting next month. SaskPower’s rate increase of 3.5 per cent takes effect on Jan.1.

The Crown corporation originally applied for a five per cent increase for January, but the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel recommended the 3.5 per cent increase.

According the SaskPower, the average urban residential customer will see a increase on their bill of $4 per month.

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This is the second of two rate increases for customers in less than six months. Rates went up five per cent on July 1, which led to an average bill increase of $6 per month.

“SaskPower understands its customers need reliable power,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Gordon Wyant said in a statement.

“In light of the challenges with maintaining and growing the electricity system, as well as keeping up with demand and meeting targets for renewable generation, additional funding is needed to provide that reliable power to the people of Saskatchewan. SaskPower has been making historic investments to maintain and improve our province’s electricity system to ensure it meets the growing need for power.”

The Crown corporation says the increase will allow them to invest in a number of generation, transmission, and infrastructure projects.

The projects include:

• Pasqua to Swift Current transmission line ($260 million)
• Kennedy to Tantallon transmission line ($113 million)
• Construction of Chinook Power Station ($680 million)
• Distribution customer connects ($509 million)
• E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station life extension ($245 million)
• Wood pole remediation ($498 million)

“The approved rate increases provide us with the necessary financial certainty to make sure we have the power our customers need when they need it,” SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said in a statement.

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