We’ve submitted a multi-year application to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel, requesting system average rate increases of 4% effective Sept. 1, 2022, and 4% effective Apr. 1, 2023.
The application includes rate rebalancing and a rate design methodology shift.
Why does SaskPower need to increase rates?
We haven’t increased rates since Mar. 1, 2018, when a system-wide average increase of 3.5% came into effect.
In the years since then our fuel and purchased power expenses have increased, primarily due to and the addition of more expensive renewable generation – which we need to meet our target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 – and higher natural gas prices. We’re also making significant investments in improving service reliability and modernizing the power grid throughout the province.
Without a rate increase, we’re projecting losses of $28 million in 2022-23 and $105 million in 2023-24.
How much more would I pay if the rate increases are approved?
The average residential customer will see increases of $5 per month in 2022-23 and $5 per month in 2023-24, while the average farm customer will see increases of $12 per month in 2022-23 and $12 per month in 2023-24.
What is rate rebalancing, and how would it affect me?
Rate rebalancing is a common part of the rate application process. The purpose is to ensure that the amount of revenue collected from each of our customer classes fairly and accurately reflects the costs of providing electrical service to them. As the proportion of costs changes over time, we periodically rebalance the rates we charge them to ensure they’re paying a fair share of the costs.
What is rate design, and how would the rate design shift affect me?
Residential customers and the majority of farm and small commercial customer classes pay a blended rate for demand and energy charges, and will be unaffected by the rate design shift. Large commercial, oilfield and power customer classes, meanwhile, are charged separately for demand and energy, and will be impacted.
We propose rates for each customer class that fairly attribute the costs of generating and delivering the power they use to them. Those rates are designed to collect the following costs:
- basic monthly charge (for customer services/metering related costs)
- demand charge (for fixed costs such as infrastructure)
- energy charge (largely for the fuel we use to generate electricity)
View the current rates for each customer class.
Under the current methodology, some of our demand-related costs are collected through the energy charge. A shift to our rate design methodology would ensure that all demand-related costs are collected through the demand charge, while all energy-related costs are captured through the energy charge. The basic monthly charge would be unaffected by the rate design methodology shift.
The proposed rate design shift would cause some affected customers to receive increases that are larger than the system average rate increase, while others will receive increases that are lower than the system average rate increase. Generally speaking, those with more consistent demand for power will see less of a rate increase, while those whose demand for power fluctuates more will see a larger rate increase. The shift is revenue neutral to SaskPower. We’re proposing to smooth out the impact of the rate design shift over approximately 5 rate applications.
What is SaskPower doing to minimize rate increases?
Since 2015, our continuous improvement and workforce efficiency efforts have achieved approximately $490 million in operating, maintenance and administration savings. Despite these savings, additional cost pressures still exist.
Increased spending on vegetation management initiatives, pursuing the feasibility of Small Modular Reactors and increased maintenance on our Transmission and Distribution infrastructure are some of the key initiatives in the upcoming year.
What can I do to keep my power bill as low as possible?
The best place to start is by finding opportunities to decrease the amount of power you use. We have a variety of programs, tips and tools you can use to save power both at home and at work. Not only will you save money, you’ll also reduce your environmental impact.
Another way to lower your power bill is to generate your own power. Through our Net Metering Program, you can generate up to 100 kW (DC) of power using an eligible energy resource to offset their own power use. We’ll credit your account for the excess power you generate at a pre-determined rate.
How can I provide my input?
The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel gathers public comments through various channels during the review process. You can find more information on the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel website.