Sask. Party taking extra power rate hike it said it wouldn’t

Families pay again for smart meter fiasco

Families and businesses will take another cost of living hit – yet another SaskPower rate increase will take effect Sept. 1, even though the government previously said it wouldn’t.

In Sept. 2014, amid controversy like the smart meter fiasco and a luxury renovation plan at SaskPower headquarters, the government said it would hike SaskPower bills three per cent in 2015, lower than the five per cent maximum set by the rate review panel. An extra two per cent increase was announced Friday, meaning the Sask. Party apparently broke its promise.

NDP house leader Warren McCall said the cost of living for everyday families is a major concern the Sask. Party just isn’t getting – and that people are sick of paying for the Sask. Party’s smart meter fiasco.

“We paid to have those dangerous smart meters installed, then had to pay again to have them removed. The painful part is that the Sask. Party gave the manufacturer of the fire-prone smart meters a $5 million research grant, and allowed it to keep another $18 million of ratepayers’ money in store credit that won’t be recoverable,” said McCall.

“The Sask. Party just doesn’t seem to get that it’s families and businesses that pay for that. The cost of living is hard enough on everyday people right now – we don’t need to pay for this government’s wasteful spending and pet projects.”

The Sask. Party has imposed steep SaskPower rate increases in recent years, including five per cent in 2013, 5.5 per cent in 2014 and now five per cent in 2015. In 2012, the government took a special dividend from the company – an unexpected $120 million raid – that put the Crown in a weaker financial position.