Internal costs for safety, maintenance and staffing at SaskEnergy are being passed down to consumers in the form of a Sept. 1 rate hike.
Dave Burdeniuk, director of government and media relations for SaskEnergy, told the Times-Herald on Thursday that the 1.2 per cent increase – equivalent to an $0.87 residential increase – is the second part of a delivery service rate increase in as many years.
Last year, the bill impact increased 2.1 per cent for homeowners, or $1.46 extra a month. Those numbers will, however, vary, depending on natural gas consumption per household.
Other increases to general service will also be felt via rate increases to the volumetric delivery charge.
“After the Sept. 1 increase, you will still be paying the lowest delivery charges of any natural gas customer in Canada,” Burdeniuk said.
He added that in 2010, SaskEnergy spent roughly $7 million on safety activities. That number jumped to $32 million this year, mostly as a result of growth – more leak surveys and line locating.
The provincial cabinet approved the increase, which was recommended by the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel.
NDP leader Cam Broten said asking families to pay more out of their pockets for natural gas consumption is something he’s concerned with.
“This increase will be felt by many people in a negative way and make life more difficult,” he said. “It's another cost added onto the monthly bills.
“It is a concern and something that isn't sitting well with many Saskatchewan people.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks