November 2, 2005
Saskatchewan Energy Share Plan
Saskatchewan Energy Share is a detailed
two-part plan to provide short and long-term assistance
to Saskatchewan residents to help deal with rising
The short-term assistance program, which
was announced today, will shield consumers from high
costs during the next five months by capping the
SaskEnergy rate increase. The bill impact will be an
average of 10 per cent more for residential and farm
customers, and an average of 11 per cent more for
business customers. The long-term assistance part of the
plan involves a package of energy conservation programs
which will be announced next week.
"Saskatchewan people told us that a
dramatic increase in energy costs would be a financial
burden, especially with winter on its way," Premier
Lorne Calvert said. "As a result, we are implementing a
lower rate increase than was recommended by the
Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel. Under our program, the
average residential customer will save about $255 over
the next five months, while the average farm customer
will save about $327 and the average commercial customer
will save about $971.
"We are able to provide this assistance
because we own our Crown corporations and because we can
afford the costs due to a higher than anticipated budget
surplus. Saskatchewan people deserve to benefit from
that surplus, and this is one way we are doing that."
Government will pay the extra energy
costs for social assistance clients who now have their
utility bills paid for by Government. As well, people
who receive income support payments from the
Transitional Employment Allowance, Provincial Training
Allowance, Saskatchewan Employment Supplement, and the
Saskatchewan Income Plan, will receive an extra
supplement of $20 per month for the next five months.
"We wanted to make sure that people on
low incomes were protected from this rate increase,"
Crown Management Board Minister Pat Atkinson said.
Saskatchewan residents who use fuel oil
or propane to heat their homes will receive assistance
to help pay for rising costs. They will be eligible to
apply for a one-time cash rebate of $200 per household,
which will be provided in January.
Saskatchewan residents of Lloydminster
will also receive a one-time benefit of $200 per
household, which we expect to have applied to their
January bill from their natural gas supplier.
The short-term assistance program will
cost about $130.54 million. Funding will be directed to
the programs from the province's General Revenue Fund.
"We are projecting a budget surplus that
is significantly larger than we had anticipated, mainly
due to higher revenue from oil and natural gas
royalties," Finance Minister Harry Van Mulligen said.
"It is only right that we should use some of the money
collected from these royalties to help shield
Saskatchewan people from the immediate effects of higher
energy costs, and help them conserve energy into the
In addition to the Saskatchewan Energy
Share plan, the Government has again kept its commitment
to provide Saskatchewan people with the lowest-cost
bundle of basic residential utility rates in Canada. As
a result of the energy cost assistance part of the Plan,
a utility bundle rebate will not be needed for 2005.
"Saskatchewan people have enjoyed the
benefits of the lowest-cost bundle of basic residential
utility rates in Canada during 2005," Atkinson said. "We
have kept our commitment again this year, and we will
continue to keep it in the years to come."
"I sincerely hope that the Saskatchewan
Energy Share plan will be welcomed by Saskatchewan
people," Calvert said. "We are providing the immediate,
short-term assistance that people need to help them make
the transition to the reality of higher energy costs,
and we have a plan that will help us all reduce
consumption and use energy more wisely for years to
The energy conservation programs to be
introduced under the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan,
will be announced in detail next week.
For inquiries about your SaskEnergy
bill, call toll-free 1-800-567-8899. For general
inquiries about the Saskatchewan Energy Share plan, go
www.cicorp.sk.ca or call toll-free 1-866-409-9770.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (306) 787-5889