TransAlta can't be forced by regulator to pay consumers back for price fixing
Alberta Utilities Commission doesn't have authority to order restitution for inflated electricity bills
Alberta's electricity regulator says it can't force TransAlta to pay consumers back for inflated electricity prices, despite finding the company guilty of price fixing earlier this year.
The Alberta Utilities Commission found in July that TransAlta had manipulated prices and engaged in insider training by shutting down six coal-fired generators during periods of peak electricity demand.
But, in a follow up decision issued this week, the AUC also found it doesn't have the authority to order restitution.
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Regulators are still set to decide later this fall what kind of penalty TransAlta will face.
The AUC can level a $1-million-per-day fine for each offence. It also has the authority to order TransAlta to give up its profits from the market manipulation, which would go into the Alberta government's general fund.
Jim Law, a spokesperson for the commission, says there are other avenues for consumers to try to get their money back — including civil court action.