Depending on the area your farm is in, a local Rural Electrification Association (REA) or electricity distribution company might be your power providers. REAs operate in rural communities within a specific geographic boundary. Some REAs share system access with a distribution company.
Before you can get electrical service from your local REA, you will have to enter into a Member Service Contract. As a member of a REA, you might have a choice in how you purchase your electricity:
- at the REA’s regulated rate for the amount outlined in a contract, or
- from an electricity retailer of your choice, if your REA offers that option.
Who to contact
If you need service immediately or if the utilities are currently disconnected at the property, contact your local REA or a distribution company operating in your area to apply for a new account for electricity.
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.
Setting up electricity with a REA
1. Call your local REA at least two weeks before you take possession of your property.
You might 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 might 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.
2. Review your service estimate and payment options with REA representative.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Setting up electricity with a distributor
Use the Search tool on the Retailers & Distributors page to find the distributor servicing your area. Call their contact centre for detailed information.
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.
Who to contact
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.