Regina small business has surging energy bills amid SaskPower rate increases

Inflationary costs and rising energy bills are affecting businesses in Saskatchewan, and a Regina small business owner is hoping to get the province’s attention.

“We’re a business that’s open about 20 hours of the day, so our power is constantly running. And that’s definitely been one of the biggest challenges that we’ve noticed, as far as inflation,” said Morgan Choquer, part owner of The Cure Kitchen and Bar in Regina.

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Choquer said they’ve seen $300 to $400 a month minimum added on to their energy bills.

“We’re all feeling a bit of a crunch, a bit of a struggle.”

She said between inflationary prices on groceries and energy costs increasing, they’ve had no choice but to raise prices on food, adding that customers have noticed and are spending less.

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“Things that were a luxury, but were affordable and maintainable, aren’t necessarily that way anymore.”

Aleana Young, the official opposition critic for SaskPower, said there was a four per cent SaskPower rate increase seen in October, a three per cent increase in the new year, and another four per cent increase slated for April.

“The Minister will tell you that power rates are increasing because of the war in Ukraine, but let’s be absolutely clear. The war didn’t raise energy rates by 23 per cent with just three weeks notice, again, the Sask Party did. And the war didn’t raise power bills by 11 per cent in just eight months, that too was Scott Moe’s Sask Party government,” Young said.

She noted that the government needs to start listening to small businesses.

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“Businesses in Saskatchewan are facing real challenges as they struggle with inflation, labor shortages, interest rate hikes, and supply chain issues.”

“Instead of working to make life more affordable during these challenging times, this government continues to add costs to small business owners and families. Let’s get back to common sense and scrap these utility rate hikes.”

“They’re forcing everyone with a meter to pay the price for their mismanagement,” Young added.

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Global News has reached out to the provincial government for response.

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