SaskEnergy customers will see a natural gas commodity rate increase of 28.1% to 12.78 cents per cubic metre, that’s $3.20 per Gigajoule from November 1st.
This after the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel recommended to the government that the crown corporation’s application be approved.
The Panel noted the impact to consumers will depend on the customer class and usage level and the average yearly increase for residents to be $74 per year, small commercial customers $361, and large commercial customers $4,713.
SaskEnergy said in its application that the increase was designed to hedge against the higher gas costs from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2023. The cost of providing natural gas to consumers this coming year is expected to be higher than the current rate of 9.98 cents per cubic metre or $2.575GJ. SaskEnergy buys gas on the open market and passes on the cost to consumers including expenses.
SaskEnergy noted that the rate increase targeted the outstanding balance in the Gas Cost Variance Account (GCVA) to eliminate it by October 31, 2023.
They say there will be $18.8 million owing in the GCVA from customers by the end of this month and over the next two years this move will reduce financial pressures on SaskEnergy customers and provide greater rate stability.