Media Releases


SASKATCHEWAN FAMILIES BENEFIT FROM LOWEST-COST UTILITY BUNDLE

November 29, 2006

For the third consecutive year, Government has kept its commitment to provide Saskatchewan families with the lowest-cost bundle of basic utility rates in Canada.

"We made a commitment three years ago that Saskatchewan families would have the lowest-cost bundle of basic utilities in the country, and we have once again kept that commitment," Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) Minister Maynard Sonntag said. "Projections to year-end show that our 2006 bundle of basic utilities – residential electricity and natural gas, basic phone service and auto insurance – will have a total cost that is $35 lower than the cost for our nearest competitor, Manitoba and about $1,080 less than the cost in Alberta."

Premier Lorne Calvert made the utility bundle commitment in 2003, saying it would be a key performance measurement for the utility Crown corporations. Government kept the commitment in 2004 by providing a rebate of $137 to approximately 380,000 households. In 2005, the lowest-cost bundle was achieved as a result of good management of rates by the Crowns, and the subsidization of SaskEnergy rates for November and December under the Saskatchewan Energy Share program.

"We have achieved the lowest-cost bundle in 2006 without needing to subsidize rates or provide a year-end utility bundle rebate," Sonntag said. "I would like to commend officials in our four major Crowns – SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SGI and SaskTel – for doing a good job of managing rates while at the same time continuing to provide all Saskatchewan people with safe, reliable, high quality products and services. This is just one of the many advantages of living in Saskatchewan."

After December 31, CIC's 2006 bundle calculations will be reviewed by an independent third party auditor to confirm accuracy. The results of the review will be published in CIC's 2006 Annual Report.

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For More Information, contact:

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


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