People are used to seeing soaring energy bills in the cold, dark winter months, but this year, many summer budgets may be blown as well, especially for Albertans on regulated electricity rates.
“Over the last 18 to 24 months, the regulated rate option (RRO) has seen record-breaking spikes in electricity rates,” says Matthew Coad, director of strategy, ATCOenergy and Rümi, who adds that this increase doesn’t just come from the cold winter months. “So not only are we seeing record highs in the winter months — you’re also seeing greater volatility within the RRO in the summer months, too.”
Many homeowners — and renters — don’t even know whether they’re on the RRO, which is the default option for electricity in the province (Coad says to check your bill for the words “regulated services” or “RRO” to see if you are). This summer, consumers who are on the RRO will pay more than double for their electricity compared to people on guaranteed or fixed rates with a competitive retailer, like ATCOenergy.
It’s also important to note that from January to March 2023, the government put a deferral cap on the RRO electricity rate, and many customers thought it was effectively a rebate. But Coad clarifies that “it was not a rebate — it was a deferral. So since April, RRO customers have been paying an extra two to four cents per kilowatt hour — or 10 to 20 dollars on their bills per month — to pay that back.”
The RRO rate is approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission at the beginning of every month, Coad explains, based on an assumption of how external factors will impact the price. “As a comparison, variable or floating rates by competitive retailers like ATCOenergy are calculated hourly and then averaged for the month. So it’s more of a true cost of energy use versus a predictive cost of energy.”
In financially uncertain times, most customers want at least one thing with their energy bill: year-round consistency with a guaranteed or fixed rate. “It’s the stability of a guaranteed rate, with the same great reliability of power for your home,” Coad says. “In other words, customers will receive their energy in exactly the same way with the exact same rate.”
And you can find predictability with ATCOenergy. In less than 10 minutes, you can switch to ATCOenergy without any service interruption to your home and avoid surprises on your energy bill. Switching is easy, ATCOenergy has some great options and will even “break up” with your current provider.
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