Revised Rates Maintained
In this decision, the Alberta Utilities Commission (“AUC”) approved the application for approval of the revised 2021 interim non-energy rates and 2022 interim non-energy rates from EPCOR Energy Alberta GP Inc. (“EPCOR”).
Details of the Application
In this application, EPCOR requested approval of the following:
non-energy charges for EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc. (“EDTI”) and FortisAlberta Inc. (“FortisAB”) service areas;
EDTI service area and FortisAB service area: Price Schedules and Miscellaneous Fees Price schedules, including Miscellaneous Fees;
EPCOR’s regulated rate tariff (“RRT”) terms and conditions; and
a hearing cost reserve account and short-term incentive deferral account on an interim refundable basis as applied for in its 2021-2022 RRT application.
EPCOR submitted that the differences between the current interim rates and forecast non-energy rates are considerable. EPCOR requested approval to increase or decrease rates by half the difference between 2021 approved interim rates and 2021 forecast rates for each customer class. It also requested that those rates stay effective until the AUC approves a final RRT for 2021 and 2022 or a revised interim RRT.
Revising Interim Rates and Possible Rate Shock
The AUC found it reasonable and efficient to maintain the revised 2021 interim rates into 2022, as suggested by EPCOR.
The revised rates resulted in significant increases for the FortisAB Irrigation (41.27 per cent) and Farm (14.10 per cent) customer classes and EDTI Lighting (14.06 per cent) lighting class. The AUC determined that issues such as rate shock for these customer classes could be addressed in EPCOR’s 2021-2022 non-energy RRT application, which was also before the AUC at the time of this proceeding. While the increases are significant, approving the revised interim rates and carrying them into 2022 would ease any potential rate impact on these customers when compared to EPCOR’s current interim rates.
The AUC considered EPCOR’s request for a revision to its 2021 RRT interim rates and proposed 2022 RRT interim rates to be justified. The AUC approved the revised interim 2021 rates and 2022 interim rates as requested by EPCOR on a refundable basis.