The Alberta Utilities Commission regulates the construction and operation of power plants, including hydro developments, and wind and solar projects, electric transmission facilities and gas utility pipelines (AUC facilities). AUC personnel will generally have no direct role in on-site emergency response and should refrain from endeavouring to undertake such role.
With this in mind, the objective of the emergency protocol procedures is to define the AUC organizational response to incidents and emergencies at AUC facilities in accordance with its legislated responsibilities.
The priorities of the AUC responses include protecting human life, protecting the environment, protecting property, protecting the AUC reputation and facilitating recovery after an incident.
The construction, operation and maintenance of Alberta electricity and natural gas utility infrastructure are subject to Alberta’s environmental laws and regulations and generally subject to specific guidance from Alberta Environment and Parks and from the Alberta Utilities Commission.
The AUC considers environmental matters in every facility project decision. As part of the AUC mandate, it protects social, economic and environmental interests of Alberta where competitive forces do not.
The construction, maintenance and operation of AUC-approved utility infrastructure is subject to AUC conditions of the utility owner. These can be requirements around land access and notice, livestock protection, around weed control, and even around what time of year heavy equipment may be used.
The AUC also may have requirements around noise, dust and timing of work.
The AUC investigates when rates are being charged unfairly or incorrectly.
The AUC does not determine rates or conditions of service from retailers offering fixed pricing for fixed terms for electricity or natural gas. For issues with these contracts, please contact the
Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate of Alberta.
The Alberta Utilities Commission is responsible for adjudicating allegations of wrongdoing in the province's wholesale electricity market.
When Albertans receive their electricity bills, they expect that what they pay has been arrived at in a fair and ethical way. The AUC's mission includes ensuring that Alberta families and industries are protected from market manipulation.
The AUC works with the Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator, which brings allegations of market wrong-doing before the AUC, where they are dealt with in an evidence-based, open and quasi-judicial manner.
The AUC does not have regulatory authority for oil and gas production pipelines; these are overseen by the
Alberta Energy Regulator. When natural gas pipelines cross provincial or international borders, the National Energy Board is responsible. Low-pressure natural gas pipelines that operate under
700 kilopascals are distribution pipelines regulated by the
Rural Utilities Branch of Alberta Agriculture and Foresty, which is responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance and quality assurance of these lines.