Media Releases


PROPOSED SASKPOWER RATE INCREASE TO BE DEFERRED

September 27, 2005

Saskatchewan residents will not face an increase in electricity rates this year.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel has been informed that SaskPower wishes to defer its proposed rate increase to January 1st, 2006, rather than having it take effect on October 1st of this year. This will save urban residential customers about $4 a month, and farm customers about $3 a month for the rest of the year.

SaskPower submitted its rate application to the Panel in July, requesting an average system-wide rate increase of 4.9 per cent effective October 1st. The Panel was to provide its recommendations to government by September 28th. That date has now been extended to November 14th.

"SaskPower has experienced an extraordinary year in 2005 because of the high rainfall, which led to improved hydro conditions," Crown Management Board Minister Pat Atkinson said. "SaskPower's financial picture has improved significantly since it filed its rate application at the end of June. SaskPower customers will not pay higher rates unless absolutely necessary, so the rate increase is being deferred."

The unusually high rainfall this year is not expected to occur in 2006, and natural gas costs will continue to rise, so SaskPower's costs to purchase fuel will also increase. As a result, the corporation will keep its proposal for a 4.9 per cent rate increase before the Panel, but ask that the effective date be January 1st. The Panel is also in the midst of reviewing a rate application from SaskEnergy. The natural gas company is asking for a rate increase of 27 per cent effective November 1st, due to rapidly rising commodity prices.

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For More Information, contact:

Karen Schmidt
Crown Investments Corporation
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-5889