January 23rd, 2018

City, province strike deal on electricity price cap

By Medicine Hat News on December 19, 2017.

 

New regulations agreed to by the city and province will mean local power consumers will fall under a provincial price cap for electricity, it was announced on Tuesday.

Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said talks between the two levels of government mean that Medicine Hat customers won’t pay more than a 6.8-cent per kilowatt hour mark set by the province last June for most Albertans.

That cap, part of the province’s remaking of the Alberta Electricity Grid, covers Albertans who have regulated rate option contracts with their utility provider.

Medicine Hat’s publicly-owned utility doesn’t offer a such an option, and instead charges the average default rate from 10 other mid-sized and large jurisdictions.

Both sides said a local agreement would be negotiated. A release states that going forward, Medicine Hat utility customers will pay the lower of either the local rate or the mandated 6.8-cent maximize retail rate.

“We’re now proudly delivering on that promise,” said McCuaig-Boyd in a statement. “Families won’t have to worry about bills spiking from one month to the next. I want to thank the city for being a great partner.”

Mayor Ted Clugston said the province has recognized the city’s unique position as a municipal power provider

“This agreement enables us to continue providing strong advantages of low utility rates, high-quality services and innovative energy management to Medicine Hat residents and businesses,” he said.

Under the program, the maximum possible charge to the customer is 6.8-cents — the current local rate is about 4-cents — but should it rise too high the difference would be made up with money from the Carbon Levy fund.

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