AltaGas offers a large variety of electricity and natural gas plans to their customers, including but not limited to:
Open Plan: Targeted at customers who have inconsistent power consumption needs or who have reason to not to make use of a long-term fixed-price agreement. Benefits include no cap on use of energy and gas, flexible terms and the option to transition to fixed plan without penalty. Prices of open plans are dictated by the wholesale AESO hourly pool price for electricity, and the AECO-C spot market price for natural gas.
Variable Fixed Plan: A mix of fixed and variable rate plans, a portion of the customer’s consumption is pre-purchased at a fixed price, while whatever surplus is consumed is purchased at the hourly pool price, as in the open plan. This helps to mitigate the unpredictability of market prices. If any of the fixed amount is unused, it is sold off and the customer’s account is credited at the market rate.
Load Following Plan (electricity only): For companies whose consumption of electricity is very consistent month to month, lower and upper volume limits are set for consumption, with a fixed price within the bounds of those limits. Electricity used beyond the upper limit is purchased at the AESO Pool Price. When consumption falls below the lower limit, the difference is sold off at the AESO Pool Price. This allows for a high degree of predictability for pricing in long-term energy contracts.
Energy Bulk Purchase Program: Allows aggregated business partners to purchase smaller volumes of gas and electricity as a much larger group bulk price, generating lower prices and savings for everyone.
AltaGas has been in operation for more than 20 years, having been built upon its previous incarnation, the decades-old Alberta and Southern Gas Company (A&S), which was founded in Calgary. Deregulation of American gas markets in the first half of the 1990s resulted in A&S’s parent company ordering it to be shut down due to loss of revenue in the changing market. After the business was officially shuttered, the remnants of A&S’s hierarchy rehired two dozen ex-employees and essentially rebooted the company as a new independent entity. Four years later, it made its first major entrance into Alberta’s natural gas market, when it bought Centra Gas Alberta in 1998. This lead to A&S being rebranded as AltaGas.
AltaGas expanded beyond natural gas and into energy transmission and production when it signed a 20 year energy contract with TransAlta, securing a 50 percent stake in the electricity produced by Transalta’s Sundance B coal-powered plant. Since then, the company has been expanding its investment in green energy, including wind and hydroelectric plants in British Columbia and natural gas-powered plants in Alberta.
AltaGas has continued to pursue traditional sources of energy production as well, one example being the purchase of Pacific Northern Gas, through which AltaGas acquired a vast infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of natural gas.