Alberta’s regulated rate providers of electricity and natural gas serve as the safety net for residential users and small businesses. Their prices, set by the Alberta Utilities Commission, provide a baseline for electricity and natural gas services within the province.
Alberta has five regulated rate providers for residences and small businesses, four of which act as electricity providers, and three of which act as natural gas providers.
AltaGas Utilities: AltaGas Utilities has been operating for nearly 60 years, and provides natural gas services at a regulated rate to roughly 72,000 residential, rural, and small commercial customers throughout Alberta. However, the majority of its operations are dedicated to the transportation of natural gas to a number of competitive and regulated natural gas retailers, through the 20,000 km of natural gas pipeline that AltaGas Utilities owns and operates.
City of Lethbridge: The City of Lethbridge is an RRO electricity provider to 34,000 customers within the city, including 2,500 commercial customers. The City of Lethbridge Electric Utility is also a regulated wires service provider for those in the region, and owns and operates the local transmission facility.
Direct Energy Regulated Services: DERS (the regulated arm of Direct Energy) is a regulated natural gas provider and RRO electricity provider to residences and small businesses throughout Alberta. DERS’s customers receive natural gas distribution services from ATCO Gas, while ATCO Electric provides wires service to RRO customers in Direct Energy Regulated Services’ territory.
ENMAX Power: ENMAX Energy acts on behalf of ENMAX Power to provide electricity at the RRO rate to residents of Calgary and elsewhere, with ENMAX Power supplying wires services. ENMAX Power also provides wires and meter reading services for wires owners in a number of other cities, including Fort Macleod, Red Deer, Ponoka, Crowsnet Pass and Cardston.
EPCOR Energy Alberta GP: EPCOR is a regulated-rate provider of natural gas and electricity for 600,000 customers in the City of Edmonton, including residences, small businesses and agricultural operations. EPCOR Energy also supplies natural gas and electricity to customers in areas where FortisAlberta is the designated wires service.
Residents and businesses have a single designated electricity and natural gas provider based on their geographic location. As long as a resident or business does not seek to do business with a retail energy company, they will by default be serviced and billed by the regulated provider for the area, which is legally obligated to provide service to those in their territory. Every location also has a regulated wire service provider as well, working in tandem with the regulated energy provider.
Both investor- and municipally-owned companies are approved and regulated by the AUC to provide RRO service to Albertans, either as wire services (e.g., EPCOR Distribution, FortisAlberta) or electricity providers (e.g., ENMAX Power, EPCOR Energy)