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Gas bills could go up 13.5% if a rate increase application is approved.

Crown gas company SaskEnergy is asking for a rate hike that could mean an increase in home heating bills of 13.5 per cent.

The proposed increase to the commodity price of natural gas (the price of delivering the gas will stay the same) is the first SaskEnergy has requested since 2008. 

The company says the reason is twofold: the price of gas went up and so did demand during the recent cold winter. 

SaskEnergy says it does not profit on the price of gas, but simply passes along increases to customers.

If approved, the increase will add about $9.57 a month for the average home gas bill. 

The hike will take effect on July 1, assuming it's approved by the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel and cabinet.