Electricity System Improvements

Consumers to Benefit from electricity system improvements (News release, December 18, 2014)
Based on the advice of an MLA team, and the passing of Bill 201external link icon, government will take action in three key areas:

  • Clarifying that the Local Access Fee on customers’ bills is set and collected by municipalities;
  • Changing the name of the Regulated Rate Option to reflect that it is a default rate, not a government-set regulated rate; and
  • Merging the electricity and natural gas codes of conduct to remove duplicate and cumbersome processes for companies that offer both natural gas and electricity.

In addition, retail advertising material can no longer be inserted in the billing envelopes of customers who are on the default rate. This will establish a more level playing field for all retailers.

The MLA Retail Market Review Committee Implementation Team’s report, Enhancing the Retail Market for ElectricityPDF icon, was released on December 18, 2014. It outlines the extensive consultation work done by the MLA team and its resulting recommendations. Government will continue to examine the remaining recommendations for future implementation, which will include further consultation with stakeholders.

The Implementation plan as recommended by the MLA team.

Frequently asked questions on electricity enhancements December 18, 2014

    Retail market enhancement recommendations from the Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC)

The Alberta government is taking actions to protect electricity consumers by increasing scrutiny of transmission costs, reducing volatility in month-to-month electricity prices and making it easier for consumers to exercise better retail choices.

The Retail Market Review Committeeexternal link icon made recommendations to strengthen the electricity market. The report was released in January 2013 with 41 recommendations. Thirty-three recommendations were accepted in principle and referred to an MLA implementation team (Terms of ReferencePDF icon). The team worked with consumers, industry, regulators and others to ensure that we have effective, affordable and sensible solutions in place. 

    Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) Report

Government is acting immediately on two recommendations, approving 33 more in principle and rejecting six.  The recommendations accepted in principle will be referred to an MLA implementation team.

Retail Market Review Committee (RMRC) ReportPDF icon (5 MB) HighlightsPDF icon

The recommendations accepted in principle focus on increasing competitiveness in the market, providing greater information to consumers, protecting vulnerable Albertans and representing consumer interests. The MLA implementation team will further consult with stakeholders and determine how best to implement these recommendations.

The RMRC also recommended lifting the freeze on applications for new distribution charges put in place at the request of government in 2012, and government has asked the AUC to lift the freeze. Applications will need to go through the AUC process to ensure any distribution costs charged to consumers are reasonable and levied fairly.

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