5 Questions with Darren Foster on SaskPower's 2018 Rate Application
August 15, 2017
Why is SaskPower proposing to increase electricity rates by 5% on March 1, 2018?
We're focused on maintaining reliable service for our customers while keeping up with the growing demand for electricity. We continue to set records for the total amount of power needed by customers at one time, and we expect this increased demand to continue for the foreseeable future. While the demand for power grows, SaskPower also faces an ongoing need to renew aging electrical infrastructure.
How can I be a part of the process?
Throughout the rate application process, there will be opportunities for you to ask questions and voice concerns. You can find more information on the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel website.
What can I do to save money?
It may seem strange for us to ask that you use less power, but if we work together – we all save.
We have a number of self-generation programs that allow you to sell power back to us, or bank it for use later. If you aren't quite ready to take that step, we also have a number of efficiency programs aimed at helping you save money at home or your business.
What is SaskPower doing to minimize rate increases in the future?
Running SaskPower as efficiently as possible is a top priority for us as we move toward renewing infrastructure and adding new power sources. Our Business Optimization Initiative is designed to find ways to save on operating costs and find efficiencies in how we do business that can be maintained for years to come.
We've reduced operating expenses by $73 million over the past two years, and we'll be working at reducing those expenses by another $142 million over the next three years.
We're also reducing budgeted capital spending by $2.4 billion from 2015 through 2019-20.
What does my bill payment go toward?
In the past five years, we've spent more than $6 billion on capital investments and power purchase agreements. Going forward, we're forecasting the need to keep making capital investments of $1.4 billion a year (including power purchase agreements). Some of the work we are doing includes:
- Connecting more than 6,000 customers each year
- Extending the life of our wood power poles
- Improving reliability in rural areas
- Extending the life of E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station
- Constructing the Chinook Power Station
- Building the Pasqua to Swift Current Transmission Line