The average rate increase for a typical customer living in a city, town or village would be approximately 7.5%, or $6 per month, on August 1, 2010. For a typical farm customer, the average monthly rate increase would be approximately 8.8%, or $16.

Garner Mitchell, acting president and CEO of SaskPower, said: “Recently, SaskPower has set records for new service applications and peak demand – the amount of power required by customers at one time. With higher than historic demand for service expected to continue in 2010 and beyond, new power generation, transmission and distribution facilities must be constructed.”

The majority of SaskPower’s generation, transmission and distribution system was built 30 to 50 years ago. New equipment costs more – in part because of rising costs, and also due to the fact that it has to meet stringent environmental regulations, the company said.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel will review the company’s application and provide a recommendation to government, which will instruct the corporation on how to proceed. SaskPower’s last rate increase averaged 8.5% for all customers, and was effective from June 1, 2009.