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SaskEnergy rates going down in November

Starting on Nov. 1, SaskEnergy residential customers will see a decrease of two per cent per month in their heating bills. File / Global News

The provincial government has approved the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel’s recommendations for SaskEnergy commodity and delivery service rates, which will reduce heating bills by an average of $15 annually.

Starting on Nov. 1, residential customers will see a decrease of two per cent per month in their heating bills. The amount follows a decrease of $53 annually, which came into effect on Jan. 1.

“When you add the savings from earlier this year to this latest decrease, residential customers will see their natural gas bill shrink by $68 annually,” Dustin Duncan, the minister responsible for SaskEnergy, said.

SaskEnergy rate changes include a commodity rate decrease from $4.30 per gigajoule (GJ) to $3.65 GJ and an 8.6 per cent increase to its delivery service rate. SaskEnergy said the increase is due to infrastructure renewal costs, as well as safety.

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The Crown corporation originally applied for a 2.3 per cent decrease in May, which would have saved the average residential consumer $20 yearly.

However, the review panel recommended a 13 per cent decrease in the commodity price compared to the 14 per cent SaskEnergy proposed, due to a higher conversion factor for heat value of the natural gas supply purchased by SaskEnergy.

READ MORE: Regulator concerned about SaskEnergy spending, approves decrease in bills

Another recommendation by the review panel is for SaskEnergy to bill customers in energy instead of volume, which the panel said will allow SaskEnergy to see the proper amount of revenue from commodity and delivery rates, therefore making sure customers pay for the energy consumed.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel has also expressed concern about how much money SaskEnergy is putting into capital spending, indicating in September that this would have a significant impact on future rates.

SaskEnergy’s capital spending was $50.5 million in 2010 and is expected to be $102.7 million in 2016. The panel would like SaskEnergy to monitor its spending.

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