Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

1915: The Public Utilities Board was created

The Public Utilities Board became Alberta’s first regulatory agency with the primary responsibility of regulating utility rates and service. At this time in Alberta’s history, utility service was limited and demand was much lower than it is today. This allowed for extended jurisdiction for the PUB over a broad range of other matters, including the supervision of all debentures issued by municipalities, the cancellation of subdivision plans, the approval of utility franchise agreements, the regulation of the sale of shares and securities within the province, the approval of tariffs for provincial railways and the approval of highway crossings by railway branch lines. Alberta Government Telephones (AGT), which was Alberta’s only telecommunications company at the time, also applied to the PUB for its rates.

1923: The Public Utilities Act increased the scope of the board

Over the next decade, the PUB became responsible for regulating a wider range of services. In the late 1920s, the board was granted power to approve tolls charged by operators of public vehicles, and to deal with annexation disputes. The board, however gave up the regulation of the sales of shares.

1933: Milk was declared a public utility

Price cuts to milk, taking place in Edmonton and Calgary in 1933, were seen as harmful to the province’s milk producers. The PUB therefore issued interim producer pricing orders. Milk regulation quickly became a major focus of the board’s activities and milk producers and distributors were required to obtain a licence from the board.

1936: The Fuel Oil Licensing Act was enacted

Under this the Fuel Oil Licensing Act, Alberta's 1000 fuel dealers were required to obtain a licence from the PUB. The responsibility of issuing these licences, along with the responsibility of milk regulation, began to weigh heavy on the board’s resources.

1937: The PUB shed some of its responsibilities

New boards were formed to administer some of the non-utility responsibilities of the PUB. However, the upswing in oil development activity in the Turner Valley oil field greatly increased the board’s role in regulating securities.

1938: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board was created

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board was created to focus on conserving Alberta's energy resources and to ensure orderly development of them.

The PUB responsibilities still included oil pipeline regulation as they were considered public utilities. However, what is now known as utility regulation was only a small part of the board’s responsibilities. This is because at the time, only five per cent of farms had electricity and many towns and villages received only part-time service.

1942: The Wartime Prices and Trade Board increased the PUB’s jurisdiction of milk price regulation

The PUB worked with the Federal Food Board who was responsible for regulating milk supply.

1954: Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company Act was passed

The board was given jurisdiction to prescribe rates for the transportation of natural gas on a complaint basis. However, no such complaints were filed with the board until 1971.

1960: The Gas Utilities Act was introduced

Introduced in 1960, the Gas Utilities Act is still a major part of legislation currently governing the jurisdiction of the Commission. In the 1960s, urbanization and industrialization increased the number of utility customers by 62 per cent.

1969: The Alberta Milk Control Board was formed

The board’s jurisdiction under the Milk Control Act was relinquished, with the exception of the fixing of minimum prices for milk. It wasn't until August 2008 that the AUC fully ceased its participation in milk regulation.

1970: The Board of Arbitration was formed

The PUB’s jurisdiction over expropriations was transferred to the Board of Arbitration, now the Surface Rights Board.

1974: Natural Gas Price Protection Plan was introduced

The provincial government introduced the Natural Gas Prices Protection Plan. The PUB’s role in the plan, which was aimed towards sheltering Alberta consumers from increasing world market prices for natural gas, was set out in the Natural Gas Rebate Act. Under the Act, the board was required to issue certificates qualifying utilities to receive provincial rebates.

1980: The Telecommunications Inquiry and the Gas Utilities Rate Design Inquiry

The board issued two major policy reports. The Telecommunications Inquiry and the Gas Utilities Rate Design Inquiry established important policy directions for the PUB.

1982: The Alberta government created the Electric Energy Marketing Agency

The PUB was required to set the price at which utilities would sell electric energy to the Electric Energy Marketing Agency. The aim in doing so was to achieve a measure of equalization of electrical rates by averaging the price of generation and transmission across the province.

1986: The price of natural gas was deregulated by a federal-provincial agreement

The provincial government allowed the Natural Gas Protection Plan to expire in light of the decline in natural gas prices which occurred after deregulation.

1987: Deferred Gas Accounting procedures were established

Established by the PUB for investor-owned natural gas utilities, deferred gas account procedures accommodated significant fluctuations in the cost of natural gas.

1989: AGT declared an inter-provincial undertaking by the Supreme Court of Canada

The board no longer had jurisdiction over AGT which was the only telecommunications company that the PUB regulated.

1990: Section 3 of the Gas Utilities Act was proclaimed

Section 3 of the Gas Utilities Act extended the Municipal Taxation Act's application of franchise tax provisions to transportation customers.

1991: The government of Alberta deregulated the minimum retail price of milk.

1995: The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) was created

The Public Utilities Board and the Energy Resources and Conservation Board (previously the Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board) merged to create the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board in order to provide a more streamlined and efficient regulatory process.

1996: The Electric Utilities Act was passed

The EUB held a hearing to restructure electric tariffs to implement changes to the electric utility industry that were introduced in the Electric Utilities Act. Each major utility applied to separate its generation, transmission and distribution costs. The framework for further restructuring of the electric utility industry was established through the Electric Utilities Amendment Act that was passed the following year.

2001: The Electric utility industry was restructured

The EUB no longer regulated wholesale electricity prices and customers could choose their electricity retailer.

2004: Changes were introduced to the retail natural gas and electric industries

Albertans consumers had a choice of utility retailers, who would bill them for electricity and natural gas services. Furthermore, the Transmission Regulation was enacted.

2008: The Alberta Utilities Commission was created

Two regulatory bodies were created from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board: the Alberta Utilities Commission and the Energy Resources Conservation Board (now the Alberta Energy Regulator). The AUC began operations on January 1, 2008.

2008: The Micro-Generation Regulation was passed

The implementation of this regulation allows Albertans to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit for any power they send to the power grid.

2012: Power plant exemptions and minor  transmission facility power plant alterations streamlined

Revisions were made to Rule 007 to improve checklists and process guidelines. This streamlines the application process and improves regulatory efficiency in Alberta.

2012: Performance-based regulation for Alberta 

The frame-work for distribution utility rate-setting in Alberta was changed to provide incentives for utility companies to operate more efficiently.

2013: Power plant exemptions and minor transmission facility and power plant alterations streamlined

Revisions were made to the Hydo and Electric Regulation to provide a wider range of exemption options available to the Commission when considering small power plant applications and minor facility alterations.