The AUC is responsible for regulating the utilities that provide transmission and distribution as well as retail service providers that serve regulated rate option customers.

In Alberta utility customers have a choice of retail service providers. If a customer does not choose a retail contract for utility service, that service is typically provided by the “default supply provider” and will be charged a variable rate based on the market price also called the regulated rate option. The AUC reviews and approves the terms and conditions of service for regulated retail service providers. If the AUC concludes that a retail service provider contravened the terms and conditions of service the AUC could issue a specified penalty, a fine, to the utility as outlined in Rule 032: Specified Penalties for Contravention of AUC Rules.

Utilities Consumer Advocate

The Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) has a mandate to educate, mediate and advocate on behalf of utilities customers. The UCA works on behalf of Alberta’s residential, farm, and small business electricity, natural gas and water consumers to mediate disputes between customers and utility companies, including competitive retailers. The UCA also advocates for Albertans by representing the interests of residential, farm and small business consumers in AUC regulatory hearings where rates and terms and conditions of service are determined. For more information about how the UCA can assist you or for assistance with your concerns, contact the UCA at ucahelps@gov.ab.ca or 310-4822.

Alberta Utilities Commission process for billing issues and concerns

Step 1: Contact your utility provider

The first step in resolving a dispute with your utility service provider is to contact the customer service department of the utility to try and resolve your concern. If the utility has made a billing or service error, they will often resolve the issue without any further process. When calling your utility, please make note of your contact, by documenting the representative’s name, the date of the call and what was discussed.

Step 2: Contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate

If your utility retail service provider is unable to resolve your concern, or you are dissatisfied with the resolution, you may contact the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) for assistance at 310-4822 or ucahelps@gov.ab.ca.

Step 3: Contact the AUC

If your situation is not resolved and you would like to file a formal complaint, please download and fill out the AUC’s Complaint form​ and provide the AUC with the following information:

  • Name of utility provider and your account number.
  • Your name (if you are not the customer of record, you must be authorized to discuss the account).
  • Service address, site ID (please specify whether it is a residence, business or farm).
  • Your contact information (email and/or phone number).
  • Details of your concern (please be specific and provide as much detail as possible, such as a chronological order of issue(s)).
  • The action or outcome you would like regarding your concern.
  • The utility provider’s response to your concern.

For more information contact us at 310-4AUC or info@auc.ab.ca.

Step 4: The AUC reviews your concern

The AUC is not a consumer advocate. It is the AUC’s mandate to balance the interests of both customers and the regulated service providers. When reviewing customer concerns, AUC staff ensure that regulated companies are following their approved rates, terms and conditions of service and applicable legislation.

Upon receiving your concern, AUC staff will review it to determine if we have enough information to proceed. We may contact you for additional information if necessary. Once we have enough information, we review your concern to determine if it is within our jurisdiction. If it is, we send a summary of your issue to the utility, asking them to review your concern and respond to both the AUC and to you. You will have the opportunity to review the response and send in any additional questions or material you may have.

The AUC will then review the company’s response(s) and any information you submit to ensure the company adequately addressed your concerns and followed approved rate schedules, terms and conditions of service and applicable legislation.

If, after reviewing the information, AUC staff believe the utility may not be in compliance with approved rates, terms and conditions of service or legislation, we will escalate your concern for further review as staff cannot make formal decisions about whether a company has complied or not. Only appointed Commission members can make these decisions. Otherwise, if it becomes clear that the company has been complying with its approved rates and terms and conditions of service, and it has adequately addressed your concern, the staff will close your file.

Step 5: If your concern cannot be resolved

AUC staff make every effort to work with you and the utility to reach a satisfactory resolution. AUC staff are not able to compel utilities to disregard approved rates, terms and conditions of service or legislation, nor are staff able to compel utilities to make different interpretations of the rates, terms and conditions of service or legislation. AUC staff are also not able to interpret, supplement or substitute the information or findings of an AUC decision.

If you are not satisfied with the response from AUC staff, you are able to submit a formal written complaint to the Commission for consideration. The assigned Commission member will first determine if your formal complaint has merit to proceed to a formal complaint proceeding where evidence would be requested from all involved parties, questions asked and a decision issued at the end of the process. If the Commission member determines your formal complaint does not warrant a formal complaint proceeding, you will be notified by a letter including the AUC’s reasoning. It is important to note that all information provided to the AUC when submitting a request for a formal complaint is available to the public through the AUC’s eFiling System.

Complaints ou​tside of the ​AUC’s responsibility and authority:

ComplaintWho to contactExceptions to AUC jurisdiction
Discriminatory, unethical or unlawful marketing of energy contracts (natural gas and electricity)Service Alberta

1-877-427-4088

None
Landlord/tenant disputes related to utilitiesService Alberta

780-644-3000

None
Competitive retailers billing practices and customer serviceUtilities Consumer Advocate

310-4822

ucahelps@gov.ab.ca

None
Municipally owned electric utilities

 

The AUC regulates distribution and regulated retail services for electricity in Edmonton (EPCOR) and in Calgary (ENMAX).

Local council members or mayorThe AUC’s jurisdiction is limited to complaints about discriminatory rates, improperly imposed rates or rates failing to conform to established rate structure. See Section 43 of the Municipal Government Act for specific details.
Rural electrification associations (REAs)Directors of the REA

 

The AUC’s jurisdiction limited to complaints about discriminatory rates, improperly imposed rates or rates failing to conform to established rate structure. (As per Section 7 of Distribution Tariff Regulation)
Gas co-opsNone