Government of Alberta touts more stability for electricity consumers

Government of Alberta
News release
Proposed legislation would further reduce price volatility in the electricity system and support the province’s made-in-Alberta transition to a stable and reliable system that puts consumers first.

“We inherited a volatile electricity system that did not look out for consumers. The previous government created the Balancing Pool to deal with Power Purchase Arrangements but did not give it the tools it needed to properly manage the cost impact on consumers if companies said they were handing their PPAs back. We are correcting that and giving the Balancing Pool the tools it needs to limit cost impacts on consumers and enable greater predictability and stability.”
– Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Energy Minister.

Bill 34, the Electric Utilities Amendment Act, would allow the Balancing Pool to borrow money from the province to manage its funding obligations.

This change, in conjunction with Ministerial Orders that allow the Balancing Pool to smooth price volatility over a longer period of time, would support electricity costs remaining low and stable.

Currently, the average electricity consumer receives a Balancing Pool credit of $1.95 on their monthly bill.

Without the changes proposed in Bill 34, the Balancing Pool would have to remove that credit and apply a charge of $8.40 per month (approximately $100 per year) starting January 1, 2017, with similar charges applied until the end of 2020.

With the changes proposed in Bill 34 and with supporting regulations that give the Balancing Pool until 2030 to meet its net zero obligation, the charge would instead be 67 cents per month for the average consumer.

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