The Alberta Utilities Commission periodically approves a rate of return on equity for regulated utilities and also establishes specific deemed equity ratios (the percentage of common equity in the capital structures) for each utility. The deemed equity ratio multiplied by debt and equity funded rate base and further multiplied by the allowed return on equity must result in an overall fair return for equity investors.
The determination of the approved rate of return on equity and deemed equity ratios is part of a complex and technical proceeding, which involves a public hearing involving natural gas and electric distribution and transmission utilities regulated by the AUC, as well as parties representing consumer interests.
The utilities regulated by the AUC participating in the current generic cost of capital proceeding are: AltaGas Utilities Inc., AltaLink Management Ltd., ATCO Electric Ltd., ATCO Gas, ATCO Pipelines, ENMAX Power Corporation, EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc., and FortisAlberta Inc.
AltaGas and the ATCO Utilities co-sponsored expert evidence. Their expert has recommended a return on equity of 10.0 per cent, with deemed equity ratios of 40 per cent for each of the ATCO Utilities, and 44 per cent for AltaGas.
AltaLink, Fortis and EPCOR also co-sponsored expert evidence. Their expert has recommended a return on equity between 9.0 to 10.75 per cent with a deemed equity ratio of 40 per cent.
ENMAX’s expert has recommended a return on equity of 9.5 per cent, with a deemed equity ratio of 42 per cent.
The proceeding will also consider the following:
- Whether changes in the approved return on equity and deemed equity ratios, established in Decision 20622-D01-20161 (the 2016 generic cost of capital decision) are warranted. The approved rate of return on equity for 2017 is 8.5 per cent. The approved deemed equity ratios are 36 per cent for ENMAX, 41 per cent for AltaGas, and 37 per cent for the remaining utilities.
- How the Commission should consider the traditional approaches and models used in previous generic cost of capital proceedings for determining an approved return on equity and equity ratios.
- Whether the Commission consider moving the utilities to one standard methodology for income tax.
Accessing proceeding documents
The eFiling System should be accessed to view the applications and the other documents the AUC will be considering in this proceeding. The system is also used to file submissions and evidence to participate in the proceeding.
To create an account, select "New account" and follow the steps to create a user ID and password. If you have any questions about how to use the system please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-592-4500.
Documents being considered in this proceeding can be found in the eFiling System (which requires log in). Once you have logged in, enter 22570 in the "go to" section at the top left corner of your screen.