Released on January 11, 2012
To help ensure SaskWater continues to meet customer needs for safe, reliable, quality water, the corporation will be raising rates effective for the April 2012 billing period. The increase is a part of a multi-year rate adjustment for 2012 to 2014.
SaskWater has experienced increased operating costs on all of its systems due to rising electricity/energy costs, water treatment costs, purchased water increases and increased regulatory requirements. As well, SaskWater must make continued investments in capital upgrades, expansions and infrastructure replacements to support a growing customer base.
The multi-year increase affects customers who do not have scheduled annual rate adjustments as a part of their agreement; this includes 23 communities, five rural municipalities, 80 rural pipeline groups, 10 industrial customers as well as 189 commercial and end user connections.
SaskWater's services, both directly and indirectly, reach approximately 50,000 people across the province; however, this rate adjustment affects approximately 26,000 of those people or 2.4 per cent of Saskatchewan's population.
"SaskWater, like any utility provider, faces rising operating costs, aging infrastructure and evolving regulations," Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Water Corporation Dustin Duncan said. "Safe, reliable, quality water is valuable to Saskatchewan communities and the rates must reflect the costs of providing that resource and provide for infrastructure renewals and expansion."
Rates will increase by seven per cent or nine per cent for potable (drinking) water customers for a total of 21 per cent and 27 per cent over three years. Non-potable customers affected by the increase will see rates raised based on the cost of service in their given service area. The increases range from three per cent to 24 per cent over three years. The majority of water used by this group of customers is being accessed for industrial/commercial use.
The three-year rate adjustment is intended to address a customer concern for more notice time on rate adjustments in order to accommodate their own budgeting and planning process. It also brings SaskWater in line with the practice already followed by a number of municipalities in the province.
The 2012 potable water adjustment will result in an average increase of $4.26 a month. SaskWater primarily provides water to municipalities and rural pipeline groups who make their own decisions on how increases are transferred to their individual household customers.
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