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Anglin demands details on looming power bill increases

EDMONTON, AB (February 6, 2013): The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) should disclose all available details on the costs that power companies will be recapturing from consumers with the pending decision to lift the freeze on non-energy costs, Wildrose Official Opposition Utilities Critic Joe Anglin said today.

 In a letter to Energy Minister Ken Hughes, Anglin called for clarity on the government’s motivation in freezing the non-energy ancillary fee portion of power bills.  Anglin suggested that the freeze was made for political reasons and that the government might be concerned about the political costs of lifting the freeze. “To assuage the fears of Albertans that the political costs of the government’s freezing of power bills in the lead up to the last election will not be foisted on the ratepayers of tomorrow, I call on you to have the AUC disclose all the details on the costs that power companies will be attempting to recapture with the upcoming bill increases,” Anglin said. “Detailing all the costs before the amortization decision is made will allow Albertans to judge which factors went into the AUC’s decision and in my opinion will lead to a better, more transparent and accountable decision,” Anglin said. Anglin has expressed concerns about the AUC’s independence in making regulatory decisions on the amortization schedules and time periods for recovering costs on controversial projects.  Albertans recently learned the AUC plans to amortize the transmission construction costs for the unnecessary Bill 50 transmission lines over generations.