Riding the Electrical Energy Roller Coaster

February 2, 2006 :: Mayor Bob Tarleck
Moderated by Dianne King

Mayor Bob Tarleck will help you learn about the Alberta experiment in
electrical energy deregulation and how it’s impacting your monthly bill.

Lethbridge residents struggling to make sense out of the confusing
electrical energy options they face might wish to look back at the
events of January 1, 2001. That date marks the first step in the
deregulation of Alberta’s electrical energy sector, the first such
program in Canada.

While not backing away from its commitment to the goal of electrical
deregulation, the government soon realized people needed time to make
the transition.

Wire service providers such as the City of Lethbridge were therefore
required to provide a backup energy supply during the transition to an
unregulated market. The initial plan called for the Regulated Rate
Option to be available to residential customers for five years until
January 1, 2006.

However, this was extended by six months to June 30, 2006 when the
government realized that competition for the electrical service for
small businesses and residential consumers was not emerging as quickly
as anticipated.

With the pace of energy deregulation picking up speed over the last few
months, consumers are beginning to ask important questions about how
this will affect their pocket book.

- What are the regulations under which electrical energy is purchased?

- Why didn’t the City give consumers more advance notice of the changes
taking effect January
1, 2006?

- How does a resident make an informed decision about selecting an
electrical energy provider?

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