With the cold weather upon us, people have no doubt been noticing the increase in their heating costs.
It comes as a happy surprise, then, that SaskEnergy has announced a 12.7 per cent decrease to their natural gas commodity rate, which came into effect Nov. 1.
Doug Kelln, president and CEO of SaskEnergy, stopped by the Regional Optimist office to talk about the new rate, which is the lowest consumers have seen in nearly a decade.
"Part of our business is making sure people have warm homes in winter," said Kelln, adding the average residential customer will see their bill decrease by about seven per cent, or $66 annually.
In early September, SaskEnergy submitted an application to the Saskatchewan government to decrease their commodity rate from $5.21/GJ to $4.55/GJ, which was accepted following a public review process.
Kelln explained the commodity rate, which represents approximately 60 per cent of customers' bills, is just a pass-through cost.
"The natural gas part of the bill, we don't make a margin on," he said, adding SaskEnergy makes a profit on gas delivery, which is divided into a basic monthly charge and a delivery charge, which covers transportation, storage, distribution and maintenance.
Kelln suggested customers who are feeling the brunt of winter on their monthly bills might consider an equalized payment plan, which estimates the annual consumption and divides it into equal monthly payments.
Customers who are on a fixed rate will still see the benefits of the commodity rate decrease, Kelln said.
Kelln also said there are a number of energy efficiency methods customers can try in their homes, such as performing annual maintenance on their furnaces, lowering the thermostat while sleeping or away from the home and using cold water for laundry.
Kelln said Saskatchewan is a leader in energy efficiency in the home, with 12 per cent of customers participating in the Energy Efficiency Program, compared to the national average of 6.7 per cent.
For more information on saving energy, visit saskenergy.com.