SaskPower rates are going up next month — for the second time in half a year.

The government said Thursday that Premier Brad Wall's cabinet has approved two increases:

  • A five-per-cent hike that went into effect July 1.
  • A 3.5-per-cent hike that's effective Jan. 1.

The first increase had already gone ahead on an interim basis, but the second is yet to be applied to bills.

The January increase is less than the five per cent SaskPower wanted. The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel had previously recommended trimming it back to 3.5 per cent.

For a typical residential customer, the July increase meant a hike of about $6 a month, while the January increase will be about $4 a month, the government says.

In a news release, the province said SaskPower needs the money to upgrade its electrical power generation infrastructure over the next few years.