Saskatchewan residents should expect a bump to their carbon tax bills on Jan. 1 just weeks after Premier Scott Moe said the province would stop collecting the tax on heating, according to SaskPower.
Moe announced in October and November that the carbon tax on natural gas and electric heating bills would be axed in the new year to match the federal exemption for heating oil.
In a media release Thursday, SaskPower said the federal carbon tax applied to carbon emissions will increase from $65 to $80 per tonne of CO2 emissions in the new year. To cover the cost, customer bills will increase by an average of 0.5 per cent.
SaskPower spokesperson Joel Cherry said the reason behind the increase is that the carbon tax applies to all energy consumption, not just home heating. So, electricity used to power lights and appliances is still subject to the tax.
“(Electric heating) is only one part of our bill for about 30,000 of our customers,” Cherry said.
Cherry said estimates have shown that about 60 per cent of a power bill can be attributed to heating cost for customers who heat with electricity. SaskPower is still required to collect and remit the tax on the remaining 40 per cent.
“Forty per cent of the carbon tax on their bill will still be there and be subject to the half per cent rate rider but they won’t be paying the majority of it that would be going toward electric heat.”
SaskPower is expected to adjust their rate rider annually in the new year.
“We have to make an estimate on how much carbon tax we expect we will have to collect in the coming year and we adjust the rate rider — the amount of carbon tax you have to pay on your bill.”
SaskPower estimated that from 2019 to the end of 2024, customers will have paid $1 billion in federal carbon taxes.
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