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Friday, October 31, 2014

Utilities are public services such as electricity, water and sewer, telephone and fuel which are used in Saskatchewan homes.  These services are usually provided through a provincial or local government agency, except for internet and cell phone services, which are also available from private companies.  Once you find a place to live in Saskatchewan, you will need to arrange to have the utilities connected before you move in.  When you move out of your home, you will need to arrange to have services disconnected.

Arranging for Connection of Utilities

If heating, electrical, telephone or other services are not included in your rent, or if you have just bought a home, you will need to have the utilities connected before you move in.  You will have to contact each utility company to open an account with them.  The cost of connecting the utilities is usually added to your first month’s bill. 

Ask the utility company how they will charge for the service throughout the time you live in the home.  Companies may charge for services monthly and you are expected to pay the bill within 30 days of receiving it.  If you are late paying your bills, there will usually be an interest charge added to your next bill.  You can pay utility bills by mail, in person at the service provider’s office, or on-line.

Heating

In Saskatchewan, natural gas is the most common heating fuel.  Natural gas heating works through a gas-line system and a central furnace that are already installed in building.  SaskEnergy provides natural gas in the province.  In some areas of Saskatchewan, propane or oil fuel is used and can be bought locally.  To get heating services connected, contact your local SaskEnergy office.  

Electricity

Electricity is provided by the provincially-owned company, SaskPower.  Visit SaskPower to find out how to get services.

The voltage system in Canada is 110 volt, 60 hertz.  If you are planning to bring some of your own electrical appliances to Canada, you might need to buy a voltage transformer/converter so that your appliances will work.

Water and Sewer Service

Water services come from your city, town or other local government body.  Saskatchewan Government regulations require frequent testing of all public and semi-public water sources to make sure the water is safe to drink.  Private wells are not subject to the same regulations.  You can find more information about water testing at www.health.gov.sk.ca/water-testing-common-questions.  If you are not sure about whether your tap water is safe, please call your water service provider.  For contact information, look for a Customer Service and Billing Inquiry telephone number listed in the “city section” of your local telephone book or on your city's website.  In smaller centers, you might have to call a Town Office.  Waste water is flushed from kitchens, laundry areas and bathrooms through built-in sewer lines.  Water and sewer services are typically charged on the same bill.

Telephone and Internet

There are various telephone, cell phone, and internet companies that provide services to meet your particular needs.  You can find them in the Yellow Pages of a telephone book or online at mysask411.com.  For example, type “Telephone Companies” beside Category, type the name of your city or town beside City/Town, and then choose Search.

When entering into an agreement to get a cell phone, it is important to understand all of the costs involved, including service charges and local or long distance call charges after any “free minutes” are used.  Most cell phone companies have a pro-rated fee charged if you want your phone cancelled.

Garbage and Recycling

Keeping the environment clean is important in Saskatchewan.  Garbage is put in bags and then placed in garbage bins, which are emptied regularly by sanitation staff hired for that purpose.  

In the larger centers and some smaller communities, there are free drop-off places for recycling of paper, metal, glass and milk containers.  Some cities have a recycling pick-up service available for a fee.



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