For the typical residential customer, power rates will go up about $5 a month in the first year, $4 a month in the second, and $4 a month in the third. (CBC)

SaskPower is asking for three years of electricity rate increases: 5.5 per cent, 5 per cent and 5 per cent.

The Crown corporation has applied to have the hikes kick in on Jan. 1 in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The company says it needs the increases in part because it's investing about $1 billion a year in infrastructure.

It also says it favours modest, regular rate hikes over big changes.

For a typical residential customer, the changes would result in an extra $13 tacked onto monthly power bills by the third year.

The proposed increases will have to go to the province's Rate Review Panel. The panel's recommendations then go to the provincial cabinet for final approval.