Proposed SaskEnergy rate increases average residential bill by $5.65/month

: SaskEnergy is applying to the SRRP to increase the commodity rate from $2.575/gigajoule (GJ) to $3.15/GJ effective Nov. 1, 2021. File / Global News

SaskEnergy announced on Friday it’s applied to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel (SRRP) to increase its commodity rate.

The proposed rate change of $2.575/gigajoule (GJ) to $3.15/GJ would be an overall bill increase of about 8.4 per cent on an average residential customer’s bill, or an increase of $5.65 per month.

Additionally, the change would result in an average annual rise to 14.4 per cent for small to large commercial customers or an increase between $28 and $360 per month as well as a $1,490 per month or 17.8 per cent average annual increase for small industrial customers.

Read more: Smoke, carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all Saskatchewan residential buildings

SaskEnergy said after a period of relatively stable and low natural gas prices in recent years, market prices have essentially doubled.

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“Natural gas prices in the open market have essentially doubled since SaskEnergy decreased the commodity rate in 2019. Increased natural gas demand for power generation coupled with higher liquefied natural gas exports are contributing to increased commodity prices,” SaskEnergy president and CEO Ken From said in a press release.

“While this proposed rate adjustment reflects higher natural gas prices, SaskEnergy will remain competitive with other Canadian jurisdictions and will continue to provide affordable, stable natural gas rates for our customers.”

Read more: SaskEnergy annual report shows $59M in net profit for 2020-21, low commodity rate

The Crown corporation said virtually every natural gas utility in Canada has recently increased its commodity rate, as they too have been impacted by rising natural gas prices.

This would be SaskEnergy’s first commodity rate increase since 2014 following four decreases. No profit margin is included in the commodity rate, according to SaskEnergy.

If approved following the SRRP rate review process, the Crown corporation said the new rate would take effect Nov. 1, 2021.

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