REGINA—The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel has approved an average rate increase of 5.5 per cent this year and given conditional approval for a five per cent hike next year.
The regulator then pulled the plug on SaskPower’s plan to raise rates by about five per cent a year for three years.
The panel says there are concerns about SaskPower’s forecasting of costs.
The need and timing of new projects has also been called into question and the panel says SaskPower should be more clear about its plans.
The utility usually asks for rate increases one year at a time, but last October applied for the three-year hike, saying it would give customers and the company better ways to budget.
SaskPower says it needs the increase to pay for new projects and to keep pace with the province’s growing economy.
“While many of the capital expenditures are justified and necessary to provide a safe and reliable power supply to the province, the panel agrees with several customers who expressed concern about SaskPower’s forecasting costs over a multi-year period,” chairwoman Kathy Weber said in a news release Monday.
“A more transparent process will assist in educating the general public and the stakeholders, and will provide the panel with the information needed to make recommendations on future rate increases.”