Albertans shocked by high electric bills
Posted June 28, 2023 6:46 pm.
Last Updated June 28, 2023 6:54 pm.
As the month comes to a close, Edmontonians are getting their utility bills and the heat can be to blame for the shockingly high electricity prices over the summer months.
“We’ve had the relatively new phenomenon of increased average temperatures in Alberta. Historically ten years ago, almost no one had an air conditioner. Now lot of people have air conditioners,” said Joel Macdonald, founder of energyrates.ca.
It’s no surprise that people are running their fans and air conditioners this summer, driving up electricity consumption.
But MacDonald says there are also several other factors causing high bills for those not on a fixed rate in the province’s volatile electricity market — including deferral payments. For those on the regulated rate from earlier in the year needing to paid back.
“Consumers on the RRO, they deferred any costs above 13.5 cents/kilowatt hour. And just for reference in February the price of electricity was 32.9 cents. So those costs get deferred and now we’re in the payback period.”
MacDonald says other factors include economic slowdown, meaning new power plants haven’t been built — as well — electricity providers are only compensated if they’re supplying power to the grid. Meaning up and down prices.
“In 2016, the Alberta grid averaged 1.08 per kilowatt hour. So one tenth the cost we’re seeing in the most recent peak.”
One Albertan CityNews spoke to, said his electricity bill showed a massive jump in price, while many others taking to social media to say the same.
Those who supply power in Edmonton say that if you’re not on a fixed rate, you could save $90 this month and next by switching over. Which can be done at anytime. But adds, expect things to stay like this for a while.
“Power prices are expected to be volatile until about mid-2024 — and so we’re going to be expecting volatile prices until that time frame,” said Lianne Redmond, Director of Encor by EPCOR.