The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) issues a decision at the end of each regulatory proceeding. A decision takes into consideration all information from the application and hearing process. The result is approval or denial of the application in full, in part, or with conditions.
The following decision summaries are provided by the Office of the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) and are intended to provide a general overview of more significant proceedings. The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) publishes the full reports and official decisions for all proceedings on its website.
AUC Decision 21341-D01-2017, August 30, 2017
On February 16, 2016, AltaLink Management Ltd. (AML) filed its 2017-2018 general tariff application with the AUC, to set its revenue requirements over a two-year term. This would result in a transmission tariff of $853.2 million in 2017 (less a refund from an account containing accumulated future income tax liability) and $989.5 million in 2018. On September 8, 2016, AML received approval from the AUC to conduct a negotiated settlement process with the intervenors in this proceeding.
Through the negotiated process, conducted in a fair and open manner, all parties agreed to reduce AML’s revenue requirements and refund a portion of a depreciation amount that was previously collected from customers. A negotiated settlement agreement was filed with the AUC for approval on February 8, 2017. As the amount of the depreciation surplus refund was not agreed to by all parties their comments on this issue were filed with the AUC along with the negotiated settlement agreement.
The AUC approved the negotiated settlement agreement on August 31, 2017. The NSA provides a reduction in AML’s revenue requirements by $15.5 million over 2017-2018, with the potential for any additional cost savings to be shared with customers on a 50/50 basis. AML will reduce spending in areas of transmission capital maintenance and information technology by $40 million, and provide a $2.5 million offset to revenue requirements. The AUC also determined, after reviewing comments and asking for additional information, that $31.4 million of the depreciation surplus is to be refunded to customers over the two-year term.
AUC Decision 22011-D01-2017, August 29, 2017
ATCO Pipelines (AP) applied to the AUC for approval of its 2017-2018 general rate application. AP requested approval of its Revenue Requirements totalling approximately $271.8 million and $293.4 million for 2017 and 2018, respectively. Through an open and public process, the AUC, the UCA and others identified a number of issues with the application. The AUC directed AP to make several changes to the application.
AP is required to refile its reduced revenue requirements with the AUC by October 11, 2017 for 2017 and 2018 respectively based on the AUC’s directions in Decision 22011-D01-2017. The changes in AP’s revenue requirements for 2017 and 2018 are summarized in the table below:
Change in AP's Revenue Requirements (millions)
Revenue Requirement Proposed in Original Application
Revenue Requirement Proposed to comply with AUC decision
AUC Decision 22054-D01-2017, April 12, 2017
On October 7, 2016, ENMAX Energy Corporation (ENMAX) applied for approval to amend its regulated rate option (RRO) tariff terms and conditions of services (T&Cs), effective January 1, 2017. Following an open and public process, the AUC Commission approved some changes to the T&Cs including having the owner of a property be responsible for bills in the event of a tenant default. ENMAX is now allowed to contact customers via email, text message and telephone and can make a report to a credit agency in the case of a tenant default, provided it gives notice to the defaulting tenant prior to making a report to a credit agency.
Decision 20414-D01-2016, December 16, 2016
On May 8, 2015, the Commission initiated proceeding 20414 to establish a five-year rate setting plan, called “Performance Based Regulation” (PBR) for all six of Alberta’s distribution utilities: ATCO Electric Ltd (distribution), ENMAX Power Corporation (distribution), EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc., (distribution), FortisAlberta Inc., AltaGas Utilities Inc., and ATCO Gas & Pipelines Ltd. This is the PBR second term for distribution utility plans in Alberta. The first term was in place from 2013 to 2017.
A PBR plan is a formula-based framework that establishes initial utility revenue requirements. A mechanism is used to adjust rates for each year of the plan using an inflation factor less a productivity factor, which the AUC set at 0.3% for the next term, to reflect productivity improvements that the utilities are expected to achieve. A major goal of PBR is to create stronger incentives for companies to achieve efficiency gains as they are allowed to retain increased profits generated by cost reductions while utility customers are provided benefits through a mechanism that adjusts rates throughout the term regardless of a utility’s actual performance for each year of the plan.
Transmission Facilities Cost Monitoring Committee
The Transmission Facilities Cost Monitoring Committee (TFCMC) was established by the Minister of Energy in July 2010 and is responsible for reviewing records related to cost, scope, schedule and variances of Alberta transmission facility projects that are forecast to cost in excess of $100 million.
The TFCMC has 13 members representing the following:
The Committee releases reports semi-annually:
- Terms of Reference
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2016
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2016
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2015
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2015
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2014
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2014
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2013
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2013
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2012
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2012
- Transmission Cost Recovery Subcommittee Report - June 2012
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - December 2011
- Review of Cost Status of Major Transmission Projects in Alberta - June 2011