Utility Costs on Community Recreation Facilities

Res #: 26-05A
Number: 26
Year: 2005
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Office of the Premier of Saskatchewan

Resolution No. 26-05A

WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Health is greatly concerned about the inactive, overweight youth of our province and the lack of exercise in a modern economy and have introduced “In Motion” to encourage physical activity; and

WHEREAS, local public recreation facilities such as skating arenas, curling rinks, etc. are ideal places to bring our youth together for sports and recreation; and

WHEREAS, SaskPower and SaskEnergy utility charges are a large percentage of the cost of operating these facilities and local governments have no control over such rates;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that to facilitate smaller community recreation remaining open for the public, we ask the Provincial Government, Saskatchewan Health, SaskPower, and SaskEnergy to collaborate on ways to remove all demand meter charges for these facilities and further that they charge flat rates only.

Response from Honourable Pat Atkinson, Minister of Crown Management Board:

While I understand the aim of community based efforts to maintain the operations of local recreational facilities for the enjoyment of all, we are unable to support the SARM resolution "…to collaborate on ways to remove all demand meter charges for these facilities and further that they charge flat rates only."

 Many SaskPower and SaskEnergy customers make similar arguments to the SARM resolution that their rates should be capped or subsidized in some manner. Creating special rates for one group would run contrary to the goal of treating all customers fairly. Rates are designed to ensure no group of customers cross-subsidizes other customers. SaskPower and SaskEnergy recognize the financial challenges faced by recreational facilities throughout the province. Significantly, community recreation facilities benefit from energy rates currently being charged by SaskPower. For example, SaskPower rates are designed so that there is no charge for the first 50,000 volt amperes of demand per month. Thus, many small recreation facilities are effectively on a flat electricity charge per kilowatt-hour (currently below 9 cents) under the current rate structure. Further, both utilities encourage customers to conduct energy audits to identify cost savings that may be achieved through the efficient operation of equipment and appliances.