CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2017) -
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AltaLink and the customer groups representing Alberta's industrial and residential electricity consumers have reached an agreement that, if approved, will save Albertans up to $150 million in 2017 and 2018. The agreement also includes a commitment to reduce future capital costs by $40 million. The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) must approve the negotiated agreement.
"I want to thank the negotiating teams from all customer groups. Together with them, we have reached an agreement that will keep more money in the hands of our customers," said Scott Thon, President and Chief Executive Officer of AltaLink. "This is part of our commitment to reducing costs for our customers, especially as Alberta's economy continues to recover."
The agreement will deliver electricity cost savings to all Alberta customers.
"As a consumer group representing some of Alberta's largest industrial power users, the ADC positively views the agreement as a demonstration that AltaLink and intervener groups share a common goal of reducing electricity costs for Albertans," said Colette Chekerda, Executive Director of the Alberta Direct Connect Consumer Association. "The agreement provides for material cost reductions and incentives for AltaLink to continue seeking efficiencies and further cost savings. Control of transmission costs is especially important when so many Alberta businesses and residents continue to struggle in our current economy."
"Industrial consumers are pleased that we were able to negotiate a settlement, and in the process save a further $2 million in regulatory costs," said Vittoria Bellissimo, Executive Director of the Industrial Power Consumers Coalition of Alberta. "There are also cost savings measures in this settlement that would likely never have been on the table in the conventional process. Consumers are looking forward to seeing positive results from these measures."
The agreement includes a reduction of $15.5 million in operating costs and $5 million in other cost savings during the next two years. If AltaLink is able to achieve additional operating cost savings beyond the $15.5 million, those savings would be shared equally between AltaLink and its customers.
An additional $130 million in savings is driven from previously-funded depreciation costs. Through engineering studies, AltaLink determined that it can extend the life of its transmission lines, reducing the annual cost to Albertans. Depreciation already collected under the previous calculation would then be refunded to customers.
"This is truly a win-win for AltaLink and our customers, the electricity ratepayers of Alberta," said Thon. "We're grateful for the opportunity to work with our customers to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that will reduce electricity costs for every Albertan."
On Wednesday, February 8, AltaLink submitted the agreement to the AUC for approval. If approved, these savings would be in place for the 2017 and 2018 calendar years.
Headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge, AltaLink is Alberta's largest electricity transmission provider. AltaLink is partnering with its customers to provide innovative solutions to meet the province's demand for reliable and affordable energy. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, AltaLink is part of a global group of companies delivering energy services to customers worldwide.