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Utility retail companies bill customers for the total cost to acquire, deliver and provide billing services
Rates charged by utility retailers include the commodity rates and administration charges on your bill. Albertans have the choice to receive service from a regulated retailer, where retail rates are approved by the AUC, or sign a contract with a competitive retailer, agreeing to unregulated retail rates.
Regulated electricity retailers apply to the AUC periodically for approval of energy price-setting plans. These plans set out how the retailer will procure energy from the wholesale market and combine energy costs with risk compensation, profit margin and other costs into the monthly electricity rate billed to customers on the regulated rate option (RRO). Every month regulated retailers file an application with the AUC for approval of the monthly electricity rate which needs to be in compliance with the approved energy price-setting plan.
Competitive retailers also purchase energy from the market for customers, but the energy rate offered is not determined through an AUC review.
Regulated gas retailers purchase natural gas from the wholesale market for their customers. The monthly gas prices are regulated by the AUC, and reflect market conditions.
Regulated gas retailers establish their monthly cost of gas rate by forecasting both the consumption for the upcoming month and the market price using monthly and daily indices. During the course of the month, commodity costs may vary from the forecast due to changes in expected weather and/or market prices. The cost of gas is reconciled between what customers are charged for the cost of gas and the actual market costs. Any surpluses or deficits are placed in an account, this amount is included when determining the cost of gas for the next month.
The AUC has established a framework for regulated retailers to file monthly gas rates, based solely on market factors, with the small rate of return.
Competitive retailers also purchase natural gas from the market for their customers but the natural gas rate offered is not determined through an AUC review.