Rates – Rider T
In this decision, the AUC approved 2020 transmission service rider (Rider T) rates for ATCO Gas, a division of ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., on an interim refundable basis effective March 1, 2020. The interim Rider T rates were approved as follows:
low-use customers $0.762 per gigajoule (“GJ”)
mid-use customers $0.696 per GJ; and
high-use customers $0.210 per day of GJ demand.
The AUC noted that if it ultimately approved a final Rider T that was different from the interim refundable rate rider approved in this decision, it would address the matter of reconciling the interim amounts collected with the final, approved amounts at that time.
ATCO Gas flows through the rates charged by the transmission service provider, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (“NGTL”), to customers. Rider T is the service charge used to collect forecast transmission costs and refund or collect any differences between the prior year’s forecast and actuals. ATCO Gas forecasts its transmission expense based on NGTL’s rates and charges applied to the contract demand quantity (“CDQ”). Any difference between what ATCO Gas collects through Rider T based on its forecast and what it ultimately pays to NGTL based on actuals is recorded in a deferral account and refunded to, or recovered from, customers as part of a subsequent Rider T.
Rider T Rates and Bill Impacts
ATCO Gas explained that assuming a March 1, 2020 implementation date, the total annual charges for a residential (low-use) customer in the south service territory that utilizes 115 GJ annually would decrease to $696 from $712, and a similar residential customer in the north service territory would see a decrease to $736 from $752.
The AUC noted the parties’ process submissions, in which ATCO Gas submitted that no further process was necessary for the AUC to reach its decision, and reiterated its request for a decision by February 20, 2020, to facilitate the proper testing and implementation of rate changes for billing effective March 1, 2020. The AUC also noted that the applied-for Rider T provides a reduction in customer rates across all rate groups for both ATCO Gas North and ATCO Gas South and that Rider T rates have typically been effective on March 1.
To permit ATCO Gas to test and implement the rate changes effective March 1, 2020 and retain the usual effective date of March 1 for consistency, the AUC considered it reasonable and efficient to approve Rider T as applied for on an interim refundable basis, effective March 1, 2020, pending a final determination in this proceeding. At that time, the AUC would address any necessary true-ups.
The AUC made no determination with respect to the merits of the application or the proposed quantum of the rider, all of which will be considered in the final determination.