Did you know?
In Alberta’s power industry, the price of power is determined through competition. The delivery of power, via transmission and distribution wires, remains regulated.
Three key power market concepts:
- Wholesale prices rise when supply is tight, for example when power plants trip off-line. Wholesale prices fall when supply is abundant, often when the wind powers wind farms.
- Because power plants are now at investor risk, developers are driven to build the most efficient plants they can. That efficiency results in lower prices for consumers.
- Transmission is required to deliver power to consumers and to connect supply that wants to compete. The more supply that is available to a market, the greater the depth of competition and the greater the downward pressure on prices for consumers.
The following agencies oversee Alberta’s market:
- The Alberta Electric System Operator operates and monitors the wholesale market, writes market rules and plans and operates transmission. (www.aeso.ca)
- The Market Surveillance Administrator has a role in ensuring market rules are followed. (www.albertamsa.ca)
- The Alberta Utilities Commission is a court-like regulator that reviews the AESO’s transmission plans and tariff, and adjudicates any market investigations. (www.auc.ab.ca)
- The Utility Consumers Advocate provides information about customer choice. (ucahelps.alberta.ca/)