A municipality may grant the exclusive right to a utility distribution company to provide services to the municipality through a franchise agreement. The municipality then charges the distribution company a franchise fee for the exclusive right to serve utilities. The municipality is largely responsible for establishing the level of the fee through the franchise agreement with the distribution company, however the Alberta Utilities Commission must approve the franchise agreement. The distribution company is then able to recover these costs from their customers.
Franchise fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the total distribution charges on your bill and are capped at 20 per cent for electrical and 35 per cent for natural gas. The provisions and requirements of franchise fees are found in Section 45 of the
Municipal Government Act.
The Alberta government implemented the carbon levy on January 1, 2017, as a part of its Climate Leadership Plan. The goal of the levy, as stated by the government, is to provide financial incentives for Albertans to become more energy efficient.
In respect to utility services, the carbon levy is applied to your natural gas bill and does not apply to electricity. Effective January 1, 2018, the carbon levy is $1.517 per gigajoule consumed.
For more information about the carbon levy visit the government of Alberta’s website or call 1-888-279-2422.