There are a lot of factors that can influence energy rates—but what about geography? Can location and city structure dictate high or low when you compare energy rates in Calgary?
Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, and the heightened head count of a city that houses close to 1.25 million people provides a lot of benefits for energy providers. But can that increased population mean Calgary is getting a better deal on its energy than other cities nearby? Potentially, yes; however, there are a number of other contributing factors that come into play when you compare energy rates in Calgary. For instance, Calgary was built by petroleum and energy industries. Its largest energy company, ENMAX, is actually an owned subsidiary of Calgary, too, and both of those factors contribute to the city’s regulated rate (RRO).
Calgary’s city-owned energy provider has some effect on local energy rates.
The fact that the city owns its own energy provider—one that is as large in scale as ENMAX—means the city has more control over its energy rates, and those rates can thus exist separate from the fluctuations and increases of rates in the surrounding area. Further, the fact that Calgary was built by the energy industry means it has a lot of access to its own resources, and the surplus of those resources means there are a lot of energy providers available—and thus a lot of incentive between providers to keep those prices competitively low for consumers as they compare energy rates between those Calgary providers.
Calgary’s regulated rate, or RRO, as controlled by ENMAX, for electricity use is ¢4.1272/kWh. In comparison, Edmonton’s RRO for electricity is ¢4.456/kWh. Calgary’s fixed rate electricity plans average out to ¢6.3823/kWh, with the lowest rates offered by ATCO energy and EasyMax at ¢5.59/kWh. Calgary’s floating electricity rates fall between ¢1+pool price and ¢1.5+pool price/kWh. Natural gas rates vary as well. Calgary’s fixed rate plans for natural gas average out to $4.4344/GJ with the lowest rates (3.79/GJ) again offered by ATCO energy and EasyMax. Calgary’s flexible rate plans for natural gas average around $1.156+ market rate/GJ with the lowest rates offered by ATCO energy ($0.89+ market rate/GJ) and Spot Power ($0.90+ market rate/GJ).
For all the complexity, it may seem like the obvious choice when it comes to choosing between Calgary’s energy rates is to just choose the lowest.
However, when choosing between energy plans, you have to look at more than just the price.
When it comes to comparing energy rates, you also need to compare the details of the plan. While the RRO may seem like the obvious choice, the fixed rate option can offer protection from the market fluctuations that will leave you vulnerable to spikes in rates. On the other hand, the protection offered by fixed rate plans isn’t going to keep you covered if your consumption needs are constantly pushing you over the limit of your contract. In order to effectively choose the rate plan—whether natural gas or electricity, or a combination of traditional and green energy—you need to know your needs so you can identify the specifics of each plan that will work best for you.