MLA Column: Alberta moves to protect electricity consumers

Maureen Kubinec, PCs
Maureen Kubinec, PCs
By Maureen Kubinec, MLA Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock

Electricity rates can be a concern for Albertans, especially month-to-month price volatility and the cost of new transmission lines.
On January 29, the Alberta government released new actions to make sure Albertans are paying the lowest electricity rates possible in a fair and competitive market. Those who are currently on the regulated rate option (RRO) will see less fluctuation in price. Right now, electricity companies can only buy power 45 days in advance for the RRO. The province will extend that to 120 days to bring more stability and predictability in the market. Consumers will still have a monthly rate, but the price will not spike as much from one month to another.

The Alberta Government is also moving to require transmission companies to prove that new costs are reasonable. The prices and new project plans will be studied carefully by the Alberta Utilities Commission before the project is approved. The costs and projects will also be made public. Every cent will have to be justified before Albertans are asked to pay for it.

Another important change includes the Utilities Consumer Advocate becoming an independent agency, with a strengthened mandate to promote a fair and competitive retail market. The Utilities Consumer Advocate is your voice. If you have any concerns or questions about your bill they can help you. Visit www.ucahelps.alberta.ca for more information.

Alberta’s goal is to make sure that you, as a consumer, have the best rates in a competitive market and have strong agencies to support you when dealing with transmission and electricity companies.

To read more on the action being taken to control transmission costs, understand your electricity bill, and reduce price volatility visit www.energy.alberta.ca.

For any questions, please contact my office at Barrhead.Morinville.Westlock@assembly.ab.ca

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  1. Just because the electric company is buying for the RRO at a cheaper price does not mean they are going to pass it on to the customer. The government put a hold on price increases to do a study yet did nothing. How are we to believe they are going to regulate reasonable increases?

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