Who we regulate

Who we regulate

The AUC regulates Alberta’s investor-owned electric, gas, water utilities and certain municipally owned electric utilities.

​​​​The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulates Alberta’s investor-owned electric, gas, water utilities and certain municipally owned electric utilities to ensure that customers receive safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates.
 
The AUC also regulates the routes, tolls and tariffs of energy transmission through utility pipelines and electric transmission and distribution lines. Companies who propose to construct or rebuild electric generation, transmission or distribution facilities in Alberta, must apply to the AUC for siting approval. When reviewing the utility's application, the AUC considers the social and environmental impacts, as well as any economic implications for the ratepayers. 

Furthermore, the AUC also provides an adjudicative function for issues arising in Alberta’s electric and natural gas markets.

Below is a list of some of the companies regulated by the AUC. Please note that we are unable to provide a comprehensive list due to the non-traditional nature of some utility services (such as micro-generation) and the continuous changes to the utility industry. This list is provided to give the reader some background on the regulated utility services provided by the following companies and to provide examples of the activities that are regulated by the AUC.

​ATCO Electric Ltd.​

​ATCO Electric delivers electric transmission and distribution service to almost two-thirds of the area of Alberta, primarily in northern and eastern Alberta. The AUC approves AE's rates and terms and conditions of service. Any electric transmission facilities that AE builds are required to have AUC approval. The AUC also has limited jurisdiction over any new generating facilities proposed by ATCO Electric.

​Direct Energy Regulated Services

​Direct Energy Regulated Services is the regulated rate provider that provides billing and supplies electricity services for ATCO Electric customers that have not signed a contract with a competitive retailer. The AUC sets Direct Energy Regulated Services' rates and terms and conditions of service.

​FortisAlberta Inc.

​Fortis delivers electric distribution services to southern and central Alberta. The AUC sets Fortis' rates and terms and conditions of service.

​ENMAX Power Corp.

​​ENMAX ​Power owns and o​perates electric distribution and transmission systems that deliver electricity to customers in the City of Calgary. ENMAX Power and ENMAX Energy are owned by the City of Calgary. In 2004 the AUC began regulating both ENMAX Power and ENMAX Energy's rates and terms and conditions of service. ​

​ENMAX Energy Corp.

​ENMAX Energy is the default, regulated retailer that provides billing services and supplies electricity to Calgarians that have not signed a contract with a competitive retailer.​

​​​EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc.

​​​EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. owns and o​perates electric distribution and transmission systems that deliver electricity to customers in the City of Edmonton. EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc. is owned by the City of Edmonton. In 2004 the AUC began regulating EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc.'s rates and terms and conditions of service. ​

EPCOR Energy Alberta GP Inc.

​EPCOR Energy Alberta GP Inc. is the regulated rate provider that provides billing and supplies electricity services for customers, in the EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. and FortisAlberta Inc. distribution territories, that have not signed a contract with a competitive retailer. The AUC sets EPCOR Energy Alberta GP Inc.'s rates and terms and conditions of service.

​​Lethbridge Electric ​Utility

​Lethbridge Electric Utility is wholly owned by the City of Lethbridge and is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of its transmission facilities. Lethbridge Electric Utility also delivers electric energy throughout the Lethbridge distribution service area. Lethbridge City Council regulates the Lethbridge distribution rate and the AUC approves the rates associated with transmission service.​
​The City of Red Deer​
​Red Deer's electric utility is wholly owned by the City of Red Deer and operated by the City of Red Deer Electric, Light & Power Department. Its responsibility is to design, construct, operate and maintain its transmission facilities and deliver power to the City of Red Deer's distribution service area. The AUC regulates Red Deer's transmission rate.

​​Apex Utilities Inc. (formerly know as AltaGas Utilities Inc.)

​Apex delivers natural gas to many Albertans. The AUC sets Apex's rates and terms and conditions for delivery of service. Apex is also the regulated default supply provider that provides billing services and supplies the natural gas for Apex customers that have not signed a contract with a competitive retailer. The AUC sets Apex rates and terms and conditions for the default supply service.​​

​ATCO Gas

​ATCO Gas delivers natural gas to the majority of Albertans. The AUC sets ATCO Gas' rates and terms and conditions of service.​

​Direct Energy Regulated Services​

​Direct Energy Regulated Services is the regulated default supply provider that provides billing services and supplies the natural gas for ATCO Gas customers that have not signed a contract with a competitive retailer. The AUC sets Direct Energy Regulated Services rates and terms and conditions of service.

The AUC approves rates and terms and conditions of service for a number of investor-owned water utilities in the province.
ATCO Gas & Pipelines Ltd.

​The AUC regulates the tolls, tariffs and service regulations for ATCO Gas & Pipelines. The AUC also regulates the construction of new pipeline transmission facilities. Through a Memorandum of Understanding, on behalf of the AUC, the AER monitors and oversees the decommissioning of pipeline transmission facilities of ATCO Gas & Pipelines.​

​Apex Utilities Inc. (formerly know as AltaGas Utilities Inc.)

​The AUC regulates the tolls, tariffs and ser​vice regulations for Apex. The AUC also regulates the construction of new pipeline transmission facilities. Through a Memorandum of Understanding, on behalf of the AUC, the AER monitors and oversees the decommissioning of pipeline transmission facilities of Apex​.​

AltaLink Management Ltd.

​AltaLink is a regulated transmission utility. The AUC approves the rates AltaLink charges for electric transmission service. These charges are allocated to the retail customers and applied to both regulated and non-regulated retail electricity bills. AltaLink also files applications to the AUC when substations and transmission lines are needed after it has been determined in a separate application to the AUC by the Alberta Electric System Operator. For more information see AESO below.​

​PiikaniLink L.P.
​As of March 6, 2017, by a limited partnership agreement among AltaLink Management Ltd. as general partner, and AltaLink, L.P. and Piikani Limited Partner as limited partners, each of AltaLink Management Ltd., AltaLink, L.P. and Piikani Limited Partner agreed to form a new limited partnership to facilitate the transfer of certain transmission assets from AltaLink Management Ltd. to PiikaniLink L.P., whose business consists solely of, directly or indirectly, participating in the transmission of electricity, the ownership and operation of electrical transmission lines and infrastructure, which are subject to regulation by the AUC and which are located upon the Piikani Reserve. AltaLink Management Ltd., in its capacity as general partner of PiikaniLink L.P., files transmission facility owner tariff applications on behalf of PiikaniLink L.P.
​KainaiLink L.P.
​As of March 6, 2017, by a limited partnership agreement among AltaLink Management Ltd. as general partner, and AltaLink, L.P. and Blood Limited Partner as limited partners, each of AltaLink Management Ltd., AltaLink, L.P. and Blood Limited Partner agreed to form a new limited partnership to facilitate the transfer of certain transmission assets from AltaLink Management Ltd. to KainaiLink L.P., whose business consists solely of, directly or indirectly, participating in the transmission of electricity, the ownership and operation of electrical transmission lines and infrastructure, which are subject to regulation by the AUC and which are located upon the Blood Reserve. AltaLink Management Ltd., in its capacity as general partner of KainaiLink L.P., files transmission facility owner tariff applications on behalf of KainaiLink L.P.

​Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

​The AESO is responsible for the safe, reliable and economic operation of the province-wide electric transmission system, and is responsible for overall system planning and real-time operating the electric transmission system. If the AESO has identified a need for new or upgraded transmission lines, substations or other transmission system equipment, it must prepare a Needs Identification Document (NID) containing a recommendation for addressing the identified system need. NID applications are subject to AUC approval. The tariff charges of each Alberta transmission facility owner are paid by the AESO and are flowed through to high voltage load customers including Alberta distribution utilities through rates set out in the AESO's transmission tariff. The AUC is responsible for approving the rates and terms and conditions of service of the AESO's tariff.​

TransAlta Corporation

​TransAlta's transmission facilities consist of transmission assets and subsequent investments in these assets and others, all located on First Nations' Lands. TransAlta, in concert with AltaLink, maintains and operates the transmission assets. TransAlta Corporation, as manager of the TransAlta Generation Partnership, files with the AUC transmission facility owner tariff applications.​

​Micro-generation facilities

​Numerous applicants that meet the definition of micro-generators apply to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity and receive credit for any power they send into the electricity grid. Rule 024​: Rules Respecting Micro-Generation, sets out the AUC requirements and the Micro-Generation Application Guideline provides a step-by-step process on how to apply, including the forms needed in an application to the AUC.​

​Alberta Electric System Operator​

​The independent system operator (ISO), which operates under the trade name Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), may make rules as outlined in Section 20 of the Electric Utilities Act. Among other things, the AUC may hear objections to complaints regarding ISO rules, adjudicate contraventions of ISO rules and hear complaints regarding the conduct of the ISO. 

​Market Surveillance Administrator

​The Market Surveillance Administrator (MSA) monitors the Alberta electricity and natural gas markets for fairness and balance in the public interest - checking that they operated in a fair, efficient, and openly competitive manner. Among other things, the AUC has established specified penalties that may be imposed by the MSA, may adjudicate cases that are brought to the AUC by the MSA and hear complaints regarding the conduct of the MSA.​

Rural electrification associations (REAs)**​​​​
If customers have questions or concerns regarding REAs they can contact the Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations or the Rural Utilities Branch of the government of Alberta at 780-427-0125.

​Municipally owned utilities**

​With the exception of EPCOR in Edmonton and ENMAX in Calgary, the AUC does not regulate municipally-owned utilities. If customers have questions or concerns about a municipally owned utility they can contact the municipality directly.

​Natural gas co-ops**

​If customers have questions or concerns regarding natural gas co-ops they can contact the board of directors of the gas co-op, the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops Ltd., or the Rural Utilities branch of the government of Alberta at 780-427-0125.​

​Competitive retailers

​The AUC does not set any of the rates or terms and conditions of service for competitive retailers, retailers that customers sign a contract with for a set price schedule of the energy commodity. 

Customers of competitive retailers are subject to the terms agreed to in the contract.

For more information on competitive retailers available, visit the Utilities Consumer Advocate's website.

​​​** The AUC does not have full authority over the above. If a consumer has a concern about rates, tolls or tariffs that are being charged by an REA, co-op or a municipally owned utility, they can contact the AUC.​

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