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March 31, 2006 - SASKATCHEWAN ENERGY SHARE DEMONSTRATES ENERGY EFFICIENCY IS A PRIORITY FOR HOMEOWNERS


April 10, 2006

Rate Review Panel recommends SaskEnergy decreases gas rates

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel today announced its recommendation that SaskEnergy reduce gas rates charged to Saskatchewan customers.

In accordance with its mandate to provide utility rate recommendations that consider the interests of the customer, the Crown Corporation and the public, the Rate Review Panel today recommended that:

  • The Government of Saskatchewan approve the proposed $6.80/GJ Gas Consumption Charge effective April 1, 2006, and recommends to the Minister that the commodity rate be decreased, as proposed in the SaskEnergy application, from 29.51 cents per cubic metre ($7.95/GJ) to the commodity rate of 25.62 cents per cubic metre ($6.80/GJ) effective April 1, 2006; and
  • That SaskEnergy file a review of GCVA balances, forecasted gas costs and commodity revenue in a timely fashion prior to November 1, 2006.

The rates recommended by the Panel would cover the period from April 1, 2006 to October 31, 2006.

In the Fall of 2005, SaskEnergy submitted a Commodity Rate application intended to recover anticipated gas costs for the period November 1, 2005 to October 31, 2006. The approved rate of $7.95/GJ ensured that the Gas Cost Variance Account would have a zero balance on March 31, 2006. Cabinet subsequently directed SaskEnergy to submit a new application early in 2006 that would fully reflect the cost of supplying natural gas effective April 1, 2006.

"As our Panel noted in the Fall of 2005," said Rate Review Panel Chair Boris Kishchuk, "volatility has become the trademark of the natural gas market. Under these circumstances, it is important to consider the potential impact on SaskEnergy, but it is equally essential that the impact on households and businesses in Saskatchewan be considered as well."

As part of its mandate, the Panel solicits and receives input from the general public and the business community through its 1-800 number and its website. "The adoption of the recommendations of the Rate Review Panel," concluded Kishchuk, "will have a positive impact on households, particularly those on fixed incomes as well as business and farming operations that are significant consumers of natural gas."

Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel
901 1st Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1Y4
Toll-Free: 1-877-368-7075 (Saskatoon: 934-1948), Fax: 244-7037
Web site: www.saskratereview.ca