Alberta MLAs want to see report on electricity costs

Alberta's opposition parties are calling on the energy minister to release an independent report on electricity rates.

Report submitted to government almost two months ago

Alberta's opposition parties are calling on the energy minister to release an independent report on electricity rates.

"There are solutions in this and it's being kept from the public," said Wildrose utilities critic Joe Anglin. "I'm interested in seeing what they recommended."

The report was supposed to find ways of reducing the volatility and costs associated with electricity.

It also looked at whether the default rate is needed, how the rate is calculated and administered, how to mitigate price fluctuations, how charges other than energy use are determined, and how those charges are approved for payment by consumers.

About 70 per cent of consumers in Alberta pay the default rate.

The 390-page report containing 41 recommendations was submitted to the government Sept. 5.

At the time Energy Minister Ken Hughes promised to respond "in the near future."

NDP leader Brian Mason believes more would be accomplished to bring power rates down if the public could see the ideas now.

"Ordinary ratepayers — the people that pay for their power every month — are being left out of the discussion," he said. "They're in the dark and they're just expected to pay their bill every month and be happy and shut up and that's not good enough."

Mason says Albertans are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the country because of the province's move to deregulate electricity a decade ago.