Could someone turn on a light because I’m completely in the dark when it comes to all the changes in our electricity system and I think that’s exactly what the Notley government wants. Your average Albertan’s knowledge of how electricity is delivered to their homes is limited. Someone generates it, somehow it’s distributed and all we care about is it’s there when we flick the switch. I think the only time we really care about it is a) when the lights don’t come on and b) when we see a jump in our monthly bill.
Get ready for the latter. This week the provincial government rolled out some big changes in Alberta’s power system. In fact it broke those announcements into two days because it’s a lot to swallow. First up, a 6.8 cent kwh cap on retail prices which instead of a cap appears to give suppliers cart blanche to double current levels with the government’s blessing. Second, moving to a capacity market. Think of someone giving you lots of money to produce thousands of light bulbs when there is really only a need for two hundred. Lucky for you it doesn’t matter because you’re getting money to produce them regardless of the need. (Didn’t we learn anything from the early days of energy conservation? Why produce more than we need?)
Sure it’s confusing and that’s what the government wants. We’ll soon see the “light” of day unfortunately we won’t be able to afford it.