Riding the Electrical Energy Roller Coaster

Mayor Bob Tarleck will help you learn about the Alberta experiment in electrical energy deregulation and how it’s impacting your monthly bill.

Lethbridge residents struggling to make sense out of the confusing electrical energy options they face might wish to look back at the events of January 1, 2001. That date marks the first step in the deregulation of Alberta’s electrical energy sector, the first such program in Canada.

While not backing away from its commitment to the goal of electrical deregulation, the government soon realized people needed time to make the transition.

Wire service providers such as the City of Lethbridge were therefore required to provide a backup energy supply during the transition to an unregulated market. The initial plan called for the Regulated Rate Option to be available to residential customers for five years until January 1, 2006.

However, this was extended by six months to June 30, 2006 when the government realized that competition for the electrical service for small businesses and residential consumers was not emerging as quickly as anticipated.

With the pace of energy deregulation picking up speed over the last few months, consumers are beginning to ask important questions about how this will affect their pocket book.

  • What are the regulations under which electrical energy is purchased?

  • Why didn’t the City give consumers more advance notice of the changes taking effect January 1, 2006?

  • How does a resident make an informed decision about selecting an electrical energy provider?

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