The Alberta government says it will put a cap on power prices in the province.
Premier Rachel Notley made the announcement on Tuesday, during a speech at the Alberta legislature in which she said the province’s electricity system is “broken”.
The cap is part of a number of reforms the government is planning as it moves away from coal-fired electricity production.
It will be fully implemented by June and will ensure Albertans pay no more than 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour. That is about twice what most Albertans pay now and the premier says residents can choose to opt in.
“With our plan, should the market rise above 6.8 cents, the electricity charge on their bills won’t,” Notley said.
The premier says her government is hoping to reverse the damage from the failed deregulation experiment by previous governments.
“They should have a plan in place for how old coal plans would be replaced and they didn’t; they should have had a plan in place to create the condition for new electricity investment and they didn’t,” Notley said. “They should have looked beyond our borders to see how other jurisdictions were planning for reliable power and stable, affordable electricity prices.”
Notley says money from the carbon tax can be used if needed to fund this program.
“If additional funding becomes necessary, we’ll use funds from the carbon levy to pay for the cost that go above 6.8 cents.”
She says the government’s proposal applies to the regulated rate option only and that consumers still have choices available to them.