Province approves first SaskEnergy natural gas rate increase in 7 years

The Saskatchewan Government confirms SaskEnergy’s delivery rate will increase starting next month. File / Global News

Saskatchewan residents can expect to see higher natural gas bills starting in November.

The province has now approved SaskEnergy’s application to increase its natural gas commodity rate, which will be the first increase in seven years following four consecutive decreases.

Read more: ‘It’s going to be an expensive winter’ — Gas prices to push heating bills higher

Starting Nov. 1, the commodity rate will increase to $3.20/gigajoule (GJ) from $2.575/GJ:

  • An average residential customer’s natural gas bill is expected to increase by around 9.2 per cent or $6 per month.
  • Average commercial customers can expect an increase of around 13 per cent to 16 per cent which should translate to around $30 to $393 per month, based on current spending.
  • For smaller industrial customers, the increase is projected to be around 19 per cent or $1,625 per month.

SaskEnergy applied for the increase in September after market prices essentially doubled in 2020.

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Read more: SaskEnergy gets approval to hike natural gas rates

After public consultation, the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel recommended the provincial government approve the application.

“SaskEnergy’s commodity rate increase is a reflection of the significant rise in natural gas prices. Gas utilities across Canada are facing the same challenge,” said Ken From, SaskEnergy president and CEO.

“Our customers want predictable and stable rates, especially during the cold winter months. SaskEnergy’s price management strategy allows us to deliver on this expectation, and offer the lowest commodity rate in the country to customers.”

SaskEnergy also clarified that the carbon tax charge is separately set by the Canadian government does not affect the rates. That charge is based on the amount of natural gas delivered to a customer.

Read more: U.S. worries about winter prices as global natural gas shortage nears borders

The commodity rate references a pass-through of the costs to purchase natural gas from the market. SaskEnergy does not earn profit or loss on the sale of the commodity.

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