Understanding Deregulation Part 3: Power Distribution

Once the transformers have reduced the high-voltage electricity from the transmission lines, the electricity then travels over the utility’s low-voltage distribution wire lines to customers.

The Wires Operators (distributors) and franchise territories include:

MUNICIPAL: Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Cardston, Fort Macleod, Ponoka, Crowsnest Pass
REGIONAL: ATCO and FortisAlberta
CO-OPS: Rural Electrification Association (REAs)

These utilities are responsible for delivery of electricity and reading the consumer’s meter.Excluding the wires rates posted by operating REAs, the AUC is responsible for the approval of the Wire Operators’ Tariff Rates, reviewing fees to be just and reasonable. The Tariff Rate recovers the utility’s costs to design, maintain, construct and finance the distribution electric system and read consumers’ meters. The Rate also includes a reasonable profit to the utility.The Retailer must be registered with the Wires Operator and is invoiced for all regulated wires services. This cost is passed to the consumer as part of the Retailer’s monthly customer bill.