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Ponoka Is Its Own Electrical Service Provider

If an energy consumer is a resident of Ponoka, he or she receives electricity delivery from the town, itself, because it owns the distribution wires and is therefore an electrical service provider. However, the town of Ponoka does not offer a regulated rate option for its customers. Ponoka has outsourced the regulated rate option to ENMAX Power, a large energy corporation. ENMAX Power is the electrical service provider for the greater Calgary area. Along with its Calgary utility operations, ENMAX provides other services such as the regulated rate option for smaller utilities.

Deregulation of the Alberta electricity and gas markets

Alberta is one of a handful of provinces that has the benefit of deregulated energy. In the past, Alberta energy was regulated and residents and businesses were required to purchase their electricity and natural gas supply through their electrical service provider, often referred to as the utility. Even in Alberta's deregulated market, electrical service providers remain responsible for energy distribution, but after deregulation, consumers were given the option of purchasing supply from a competitive energy retailer. This is because deregulation unbundled the supply and distribution operations of the electricity and gas markets, allowing competitive energy retailers to purchase energy in bulk and sell it to consumers who are looking for an alternative plan.

What are electricity and gas market alternative plans?

Now that the majority of Alberta's energy market is deregulated, consumers have more options. The regulated rate option, which was previously the only supply rate available, fluctuates with the market value of the energy. This rate is approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission, which is the province's agency for regulating investor-owned utilities.

After the market became deregulated, consumers gained choice in the form of optional alternative rates from retail energy suppliers. These alternative rates come in a variety of forms. For example, there are stable rates available that allow a consumer to pay the same rate per energy unit for the duration of his or her plan. There are also floating rates, which are a variable rate that follows the ups and downs of the market. Some competitive energy retailers even offer flat-rate plans that charge a consumer a set monthly price for his or her energy consumption.

Explore to understand your options

Take advantage of deregulation in Alberta. If your energy needs are not met by your current supplier, you have the freedom to choose a new one. Your electrical service provider will still remain responsible for power distribution to your home or business, so you need not worry about service interruptions. It's as easy as making a phone call. Browse to learn about the options in your area. Then, give us a call and we can aid you in finding a plan that's right for you.

Source: Updated: 3-13-15.