The provincial government has given SaskEnergy the go-ahead to increase its delivery service rate by 3.6%.

Starting on November 1, a fixed 75 cents per month increase will be applied to customers' basic monthly charges, with the remainder of the hike being placed on the volume charge.

Director of Government and Media Relations for SaskEnergy, Dave Burdeniuk, said the raise was needed for multiple reasons.

"The increase is required because we do need additional funding for key programs," he said. "Both on the safety side and on the infrastructure side."

The extra revenue generated (roughly $9 million annually), will help fund some public safety projects that are becoming increasingly expensive according to SaskEnergy.

"One specific example would be the inline inspection tools. Those are the robotic probes that we send through pipelines and that will detect any dents or corrosion that we can repair before any leak happens."

Since 2008, the Crown corporation has added more than 54,000 new residential, business, and industrial customers.

"On the infrastructure side, we still have to keep planning for growth," Burdeniuk. "Which means we've gotta get the energy infrastructure in the ground before there is growth for residential, business, or industrial customers. We also find in some places in the province we have to move our infrastructure out of the way for growth."

According to SaskEnergy, residential customers will see a jump of about $20 per year or $1.65 per month.

After the rate increase, SaskEnergy will remain as the second lowest delivery charge rate among energy suppliers in Canada.

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