If your farm is in the service area for a Rural Electrification Association (REA), that local REA will provide power for your farm. REAs operate in rural communities within a specific geographic boundary.
Before you can get electrical service from your local REA, you will have to enter into a Member Service Contract. As a member of an REA, you have a choice in how you purchase your electricity. You can purchase your electricity at the REA’s regulated rate for the amount outlined in a contract, or you can choose an electricity marketer operating in your area. All REA members are free to purchase electricity services from a retailer of their choice.
Regardless of who you buy your services from, if you are a member of your local REA, it will continue to be your wire service provider - the builder and maintainer of your power line.
The Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations (AFREA) website lists the contact information for the member Rural Electrification Associations. The following REAs are not members of the Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations:
- Armena REA Ltd.,
- EQUS REA Ltd.,
- Lakeland REA Ltd.,
- Montana REA Ltd.,
- Myrnam REA Ltd.,
- Peigan REA Ltd.,
- Tomahawk REA Ltd.,
- West Wetaskiwin REA Ltd.,
- Wild Rose REA Ltd.,
- Zawale REA Ltd.
If you need service immediately or if the utilities are currently disconnected at the property, contact the REA in your area to apply for a new account for electricity.
Try to call the REA at least two weeks before you take possession of your property. You will need to provide:
- your full name
- contact information (phone number and email)
- service address
- land title owner name
- legal land location for new service
- Site ID from the correct meters (There can be multiple meters in a legal land description, so providing the correct site ID makes it easier to set up the right meter)
- desired service start date
You may be required to provide some identification, such as your driver’s licence number.
A representative of your local REA may also want to schedule a site meeting with you. After the site visit, the REA will send an estimate for your approval.
Review your service estimate and payment options with REA representative.
Your power charges will be based on Distribution Tariff Rates. You and the REA representative will review the following:
- Proposed Site Plan (transformer location, future shop/garage, bin locations, shelterbelts, and access to property)
- Member Load Requirements (to determine the equipment needed)
- Grant Funding details (for agriculture service only)
- Payment options
Be sure to inform the REA representative if there have been any major changes to the use of your land (i.e., formerly used for farming, but now is only an acreage) as this may affect your rates.
Sign an agreement with your REA and submit a written request for the energization of the site, signed by your electrician.
Once you have accepted the estimate and paid the fees outlined in the estimate, the REA will create an Electrical Service Agreement. The agreement covers the infrastructure, including power lines, transformers and poles but not the power that flows through them.
If you have decided to buy your energy from another retailer (not an REA), the request for energization must come through that retailer.
Call that retailer to provide your Site ID, billing information, and legal land location. If the service has been de-energized for more than a year, an electric permit might be required before the REA will energize the service.
A rural gas co-op (co-op) is a not-for-profit cooperative that owns its own distribution system and supplies natural gas to members in rural areas. If you buy your natural gas from a gas co-op, you do not have the option of signing a contract with other natural gas retailers unless you are a non-farm consumer who uses more than 10,000 GJ annually.
The natural gas co-ops in Alberta operate collectively under the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-Ops Ltd. Please contact the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops to set up natural gas services for your new farm. If you have questions or concerns about your local natural gas co-operative, contact your co-op administration.