Experts say Albertans can expect less volatility in electricity bills
But prices could slightly increase
Some experts say the provincial government’s decision to accept most of the recommendations from an independent electricity review should mean less volatility in electricity bills.
As part of those recommendations, Energy Minister Ken Hughes announced on Tuesday that Alberta power companies will now purchase electricity up to 120 days in advance, instead of 45, in order to stabilize prices.
That change should reduce dramatic monthly spikes in electricity prices.
Jim Wachowich, with the Consumers Coalition of Alberta, says he's pleased the regulated rate is still around and that the government rejected a recommendation that would force Albertans to sign an electricity contract.
"We are going to have a continuation of the regulated rate option which is where 60 to 70 per cent of Albertans get their electricity — their household electricity," Wachowich said.
In the short term though, the government has lifted the freeze on the non-electricity charges on electricity bills
Rob Hemstock, with ENMAX, says that will result in a small price increase.
"The increase in rates will be about, somewhere under 10 per cent on just the wires component of the charges, and so that should be quite manageable for consumers to deal with," Hemstock said.
It's up to the Alberta Utilities Commission to set that increase and how it will be applied to future bills.