Based on the recommendation of the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel, the Government of Saskatchewan has approved SaskPower’s rate application, including the request for 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. Our focus on improving efficiency and finding cost savings in operation, maintenance and administration activities allowed us to defer a rate increase for over 4 years. Despite these savings, additional cost pressures still exist.
Our fuel and purchased power expenses have risen in the years since the last increase, primarily due to higher natural gas prices and the addition of renewable generation options – which we need to meet our target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
We’re also investing more in vegetation management initiatives, pursuing the feasibility of Small Modular Reactors and increasing maintenance on our Transmission and Distribution infrastructure to modernize our power grid and improve service reliability throughout the province.
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?
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.
How could the rate design shift affect me?
Our new rate design is intended to ensure that rates fairly capture each component of the cost to serve each customer. 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)
Residential customers and the majority of farm and small commercial customer classes pay a blended rate for demand and energy charges, and are unaffected by the rate design shift. Large commercial, oilfield and power customer classes, meanwhile, are charged separately for demand and energy, and are impacted.
View the current rates for each customer class.
Currently, some of our demand-related costs are collected through the energy charge. The planned shift to our rate design methodology over several years will 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 is unaffected by the rate design methodology shift.
The impact of the rate design shift will differ for each customer. 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 working to smooth out the impact of the rate design shift over approximately 5 rate applications.
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.
For additional support, check out our Energy Assistance Program. A Home Energy Advisor will come to your home and complete a walkthrough. They'll provide personalized energy advice and upgrade your home with free energy efficient items to help you save money.
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 are rate increases decided?
As a provincial Crown corporation, SaskPower must apply to the Crown Investments Corporation to increase rates. The process involves several steps:
- The Minister of the Crown Investments Corporation directs the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel to conduct a review of SaskPower’s application.
- The Panel undertakes public consultation and consults technical experts to determine the fairness and reasonableness of the rate request – all while keeping in mind the interests of customers, the Crown Corporation and the shareholders, the people of Saskatchewan.
- The Panel reports its recommendations publicly and to Minister of the Crown Investments Corporation, who then brings the decision before the provincial Cabinet.
- Cabinet makes the final determination and announces its decision to the public.
The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel compiled the public comments and supporting documents from SaskPower’s 2022 and 2023 Rate Application during the last review process. You can find this information and more on the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel website.