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Crown electricity utility rates will increase by 4% this fall and 4% in 2023. According to a government press release on Thursday, the new rates will result in an average increase of about $5 on utility bills. residential customers starting April 1, 2022 and an additional $5 on April 1, 2023.
“The decision to increase rates is not taken lightly and was made after extensive review by Saskatchewan’s Independent Rate Review Panel,” SaskPower minister Don Morgan said in a statement. a statement. “World events have caused the price of natural gas to rise significantly, and with 42% of Saskatchewan’s electricity coming from natural gas-fired facilities, SaskPower needs additional revenue to maintain reliable operations.
But NDP spokesperson for SaskPower, Aleana Young, says the rate hike comes just as businesses and industries are grappling with an “affordability crisis.”
She called the announcement of an eight per cent rise in electricity bills on a summer day before the long weekend a “cowardly move” by the prime minister and his cabinet.
“Not to mention Saskatchewan. The party plans to raise natural gas rates by 17% in just days,” Young said in a Friday press release. “If Scott Moe thinks his choices — not giving Saskatchewan families affordability relief, raising taxes and fees, and then compounding those costs with utility rate hikes — are defensible, he should have the courage to come out of their closed meetings and explain themselves to the people of this province.
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The province noted that natural gas is the largest source of generation from SaskPower’s fleet. With federal regulations requiring the elimination of conventional coal-fired generation in Canada by 2030, SaskPower’s reliance on natural gas generation is expected to increase. Increases in fuel and purchased power spending are largely driven by higher natural gas prices, and SaskPower’s fuel and purchased power spending is projected to increase from $715 million in 2020-21 to $1.069 billion in 2020-21. 2023-24. This represents a 50% increase in fuel and purchased electricity spending over three years.
“In the four years since our last increase, SaskPower has worked to find internal efficiencies, but right now we need additional funding to continue delivering reliable, sustainable power,” said the president and CEO. SaskPower executive Rupen Pandya in the statement. “We will continue to be transparent about our pricing strategy and the need for regular and moderate increases.
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