SaskEnergy has submitted an application to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel that would substantially reduce the commodity rate.

It was sent in last Friday to the review panel and had two layers to the application - the first is to cut the commodity rate from $3.65 per Gigajoule to $2.65 per Gigajoule as of April 1, 2019 - and the second is to raise the delivery service rate by 3.7 per cent on the same date.

Albert Johnston, chair of the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel, said SaskEnergy normally sells natural gas to its customers at the price they acquire it for but over the last year that hasn't been the case.

"Now as it happens the price that they're paying is actually less than what they have been charging everybody," he said. "They need to bring it down to effectively pay us back and also account for the fact that they don't think the price of gas is going to go back up anytime soon."

The decrease to commodity rates will overtake the increase to the delivery service and provide about a nine-per-cent decrease to total bills.

"It's different if you're a residential consumer or a small business or a larger consumer," he said. "Regular residential consumers, their bill is a higher percentage of the delivery charge compared to the gas, especially at this price. Whereas if you're a big consumer your delivery charge is not nearly as high a percentage of the total bill."

Overall the decrease will save the average homeowner roughly $6.74 per month or 8.8 per cent.

The rate review panel will report back to the government in early February and let them know their thoughts on the application, but in the meantime, SaskEnergy will be dropping the commodity rate from $3.65 per Gigajoule to $2.95 per Gigajoule starting November 1.

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