NORTHEAST — A change to how seasonal power users are charged could benefit local arenas, campgrounds, ski hills and some farms.
Demand charges are issued to customers who use large amounts of power, often over a short period of time. SaskPower said the charge is necessary because they must hold adequate power capacity in reserve in case the customer needs it.
Many Northeast and Saskatchewan rinks will benefit from this adjustment to how power is charged. Utility costs are one of the highest expenses small town rinks have when it comes to skating rinks.
Beginning May 1, the time-period used to calculate minimum demand charges will be reduced from 11 to six months for eligible seasonal farm and commercial customers. It will reset every May and November. Resetting the minimum demand period in May and November means that a customer’s peak months of power use are not part of the calculations for the minimum monthly billing charges applied during their off seasons. For example, an ice rink won’t have to pay for the effects of their winter demand charges in the summer.
“SaskPower recognizes the financial challenges that demand charges can place on some of our seasonal customers,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “That’s why we’re adjusting our billing practices to better reflect how they use power.”
This change means that those who use power on a seasonal basis will now have lower power bills during their off seasons, SaskPower said. The power crown said it will benefit approximately 1,400 customer accounts, saving each an average of about $1,140 per year.