Media Releases


ENSURING STABLE ENERGY COSTS

October 15, 2001

Crown Investments Corporation Minister Maynard Sonntag announced today Saskatchewan's two energy Crowns will be applying to The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel for rate changes. SaskEnergy is proposing a 10 per cent decrease, SaskPower is requesting an average 6.8 per cent increase.

"The net effect of these changes will be a small reduction in energy costs over the coming year for Saskatchewan consumers," Sonntag said. "The average urban homeowner will pay about $112 less a year for natural gas and about $48 more for power, a saving of $64. More importantly, we will have stability in our energy rates and customers will be insulated from the extremes of the volatile natural gas market."

In recent years, SaskPower's revenue has not kept pace with increasing costs. SaskPower's rising fuel and purchased power costs are largely due to dry weather, reducing hydro generation and increased reliance on natural gas-fired generation to meet customer demand.

"In addition to paying higher fuel costs, our power company must continue to invest in its system to maintain safe, reliable service throughout the province," Sonntag said.

SaskPower's proposal will go to the rate review panel immediately, with a report due in early December.

"SaskEnergy wants to reduce gas bills by 10 per cent," Sonntag said. "It has also purchased price insurance to insulate customers from the extremes of the volatile natural gas market. In these uncertain times, our public utility has acted to protect Saskatchewan consumers from the massive rate increases we saw in Alberta and other jurisdictions last winter."

SaskEnergy's rate proposal will go to the rate review panel October 24th, with a report due in mid-December.

"We believe Saskatchewan people should receive the benefit of lower gas costs as soon as possible and have directed SaskEnergy to implement the proposed 10 per cent cut on November 1st," Sonntag said. "Any adjustments that may be required as a result of the panel's review will be made following receipt of its report.

"Overall, Saskatchewan consumers will have stable energy costs in the cold winter months. That's good management by our energy Crowns and good news for their customers."

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Ken From
SaskEnergy
Regina
Phone: (306) 777-9366

Larry Christie
SaskPower
Regina
Phone: (306) 566-3167