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The AUC can assist in answering questions and looking into general concerns and disputes involving regulated utilities
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-4822.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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:
For more information contact us at 310-4AUC or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
After reviewing the information, if 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.
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.
The AUC regulates distribution and regulated retail services for electricity in Edmonton (EPCOR) and in Calgary (ENMAX).