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SaskPower rate increasing 3.5%

A SaskPower rate increase of 3.5 per cent has been approved and will come into effect on March 1. File / Global News

The Government of Saskatchewan says it has accepted a SaskPower rate increase of 3.5 per cent, which will come into effect on March 1.

This represents an increase of around $4 on monthly residential power bills for customers of the Crown corporation.

READ MORE: SaskEnergy, SaskPower break records during holiday cold snap

Government officials said Wednesday that they decided to accept a lower rate increase compared to the original request of five per cent.

“With their revised fiscal forecasts during the rate review period, government agrees with the (Saskatchewan) Rate Review Panel that SaskPower can meet this challenge in 2018 with a lower increase,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said in a press release.

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“We will continue to challenge SaskPower, and all government agencies, to do more with less, and without compromising service to Saskatchewan homes and businesses.”

The Saskatchewan NDP brought up that this is the third SaskPower rate increase, totalling 12 per cent, in less than two years.

“These rate increases show how badly the Sask. Party has mismanaged a booming economy,” SaskPower critic Cathy Sproule said.

“Despite a decade of record resource revenue, the Sask. Party also brought in cruel and heartless cuts and raised taxes – including the PST – by about $1 billion. The people of Saskatchewan deserve better.”

READ MORE: SaskPower exploring geothermal power plant in efforts to reach 2030 targets

SaskPower president and CEO Mike March said the 3.5 per cent will allow them to continue investing in the grid and investigate ways to save money.

“The power has to be on when and where we need it. SaskPower also has to be financially responsible with its operations,” Mike Marsh said in a press release.

“That’s why we’ve optimized our processes, reduced administrative costs and we plan to reduce this spending by an additional $142 million in the next three years using various restraint measures.”

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