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Electricity Deregulation in Edmonton: Empowering Consumers Through Choice

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In Edmonton, Alberta, the electricity market has undergone significant changes over the past few decades. The shift towards deregulation has been a pivotal move, aimed at increasing competition and providing consumers with more options, which is a good idea, and in theory will help customers save money on their electricity bills. This article explores the journey of electricity deregulation in Edmonton, its implications, and how it affects you as a consumer. Hopefully you will find it helpful.

The Dawn of Deregulation

The process of deregulating Alberta’s electricity market began with the Electric Utilities Act in 1996. This act restructured the electricity system, separating the generation, transmission, and distribution functions of utilities. While transmission and distribution remained regulated, electricity generation was opened to competition, allowing investors to build and operate their own generation facilities.

Why Deregulate?

The primary goal of deregulation was to foster a competitive market that would lead to better prices and services for consumers. By allowing multiple providers to enter the market, the government aimed to break down monopolies and give consumers the power to choose their electricity provider. You as the consumer must decide how useful that approach has been in achieving lower comsumer prices.

The Balancing Pool: A Transitional Mechanism

To ease the transition into a deregulated market, generally speaking, the Alberta government created the Balancing Pool in 1998. This entity managed power purchase agreements (PPAs) and served as a safety net for the electricity contracts. It played a crucial role in stabilizing the market during its early years of deregulation. It was a good idea.

Impact on Consumers

Deregulation has given Edmontonians the freedom to select their electricity provider based on price, service quality, and other factors. Consumers can now shop around for the best rates and packages that suit their needs, leading to potential cost savings and improved customer service.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite the intended benefits, deregulation has faced criticism. Some argue that it has led to price volatility and market power being concentrated in the hands of a few companies. The surge in electricity prices in recent years has been a point of contention, prompting the Alberta government to introduce rebates to alleviate the financial burden on consumers. So, there have been challanges, no system is perfect.

Navigating the Deregulated Market

For Edmonton residents, understanding the deregulated market is key to making informed decisions. The better educated you are on the topic, the better you can understand the options available to you. Here are some tips to navigate the market effectively:

The Role of the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

The AESO manages the power pool in Alberta, ensuring that the electricity market operates efficiently and reliably. It plays a crucial role in the deregulated environment, balancing supply and demand and facilitating the competitive market.

Looking Ahead

The future of electricity deregulation in Edmonton is likely to see continued evolution. With advancements in renewable energy and smart grid technologies, the market may offer even more choices and innovative services for consumers. It is always possible that the Provincial government may adjust legislation. In addition, market conditions are always a factor, and history teaches us that these can be influenced by world events.


Electricity deregulation in Edmonton has transformed the energy landscape, providing consumers with the power of choice. While it has brought about challenges, it also offers opportunities for savings and personalized service. As the market continues to mature, Edmontonians can take advantage of the competitive environment to find electricity plans that best meet their needs. We hope that you found this artcile to be helpful.