Carbon tax, utility bills among costs on rise in 2023 for Sask. residents

Saskatchewan people will be paying more to heat and power their homes and businesses in 2023. (Submitted by Justin Waloshin - image credit)
Saskatchewan people will be paying more to heat and power their homes and businesses in 2023. (Submitted by Justin Waloshin - image credit)

Saskatchewan people and businesses can expect to see increases on their power and energy bills and at the gas pumps in 2023.

Here's a summary of what to expect:

Carbon Tax

In 2022, the federal government accepted Saskatchewan's output-based performance standards (OBPS) for industrial emitters. Carbon tax revenue from the industrial sector will save the industry an estimated $3.7 billion in federal carbon taxes between now and 2030, compared to federal carbon pricing, the province says.

The federal carbon tax is set to increase to $65 per tonne from $50 per tonne. Saskatchewan will follow the federal rate schedule, which increases to $170 per tonne in 2030.

On April 1, the federal fuel charge will see the cost of gasoline rise to $0.14 per litre.

In Saskatchewan, people will receive Climate Action Incentive payments in April, July and October 2023 in the amounts of $170 for the first adult, $85 for the second adult and $42.50 for each child. A family of four will receive $340. Another payment will be issued in January 2024.


Starting Jan. 1, 2023, SaskPower will add three per cent to customer bills, amounting to $2.60 per month for the average home.

The increase is in addition to a four per cent rate increase that came into effect on Sept. 1, 2022, and an additional four per cent increase slated to take effect on April. 1, 2023.

"We are striving to achieve these goals while keeping rates as low as possible while complying with a federal regulatory framework that requires us to collect additional carbon tax revenue," said SaskPower president & CEO Rupen Pandya, in a news release on Dec. 9.


SaskEnergy customers are also in store for higher bills in 2023.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel and the federal government's carbon pricing system affects SaskEnergy customers. In April 2023, natural gas will be $65 per tonne or $0.1239 per cubic metre.

The Crown corporation said that amounts to an increase of $79 for the average residential customer, while commercial customers will see a 10 per cent increase.

Saskatchewan's independent rate review panel is recommending that the Crown and the provincial government hold off on planned rate increases in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

The panel said SaskEnergy could maintain its commodity rate increase of 31 per cent, which took effect in August, and its eight per cent delivery rate increase for this fiscal year.

The provincial government said it is "carefully reviewing" the panel's report.


Maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will increase in 2023 to $66,600, up from $64,900.

The Canada Revenue Agency announced the changes in November. It said those earning more than $66,600 will not be required to make additional contributions.

Employee and employer rates for contributions will rise to 5.9 per cent from 5.7 per cent. The self-employed rate will be 11.9 per cent, up from 11.4 per cent. Maximum contributions in both categories have also increased from 2022.

EI rates and maximums

Employment insurance premiums will also see increases in 2023.

Starting Jan. 1, 2023, maximum insurable earnings will increase to $61,500 from $60,300.

The employee premium rate will rise to $1.63 per $100 in 2023 from $1.58 per $100 in 2021 and 2022.

Insured workers will pay a maximum EI premium of $1,002, up from $952 in 2022.

Sask. government touts indexation

On Thursday, the Saskatchewan government issued a news release saying indexation and existing tax credits are a response to affordability concerns.

"Indexation of the provincial Personal Income Tax (PIT) system preserves the real value of personal tax credits, and the income tax brackets, as well as benefits such as the Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit," the news release said.

The government said that in 2023, indexation will mean:

  • An person with a $25,000 income will see $125 in savings.

  • A family of four with a combined income of $75,000 will save $371.

  • A family of four with a combined annual income of $100,000 will save $362.

The level of indexation in 2023 will be 6.3 per cent. The government said that matches the annual average national inflation rate from Oct. 2021 to Sept. 2022.

"Our government recognizes that costs have risen due to inflation, and we are committed to taking steps to help keep life affordable for Saskatchewan people," Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said in a release.