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The Crown utility will raise rates for the first time since 2018, raising prices by 4% this fall, followed by another 4% increase in 2023. Each of the two increases is expected to add an average of $5 on a typical residential customer’s electricity bill, according to the government’s press release Thursday announcing the decision.
Don Morgan, minister responsible for SaskPower, explained in the statement that natural gas prices have soared around the world in recent months. He added that Saskatchewan is increasingly dependent on natural gas for electricity generation. A good 42% of electricity sold by SaskPower is already generated from natural gas, and this share is expected to increase as coal-fired electricity generation is phased out by 2030 to comply with federal regulations.
The price the Crown corporation pays for fuel and to buy electricity for resale is expected to rise about 50% from its 2020-21 level of $715 million to just over $1 billion. by 2023-2024, with most of this increase due to higher natural gas prices.
SaskPower president and chief executive Rupen Pandya said the company had sought to cut operating expenses but needed more revenue to meet rising costs and maintain power grid reliability. .
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