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PCs failing Alberta businesses on power prices

EDMONTON, AB (May 6, 2014): The PC government is directly responsible for Alberta’s outrageously high electricity rates that rank among the highest in North America according to a new report, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

According to the Fraser Institute report, Alberta businesses are losing competitiveness because they’re paying some of the highest electricity rates in North America. The report shows that out of 119 North American cities, Calgary businesses pay the seventh highest power rates and Edmonton pays the second highest. Only Honolulu pays more for electricity than Edmonton.

“We already know Alberta families and households are being gouged on the power bills, now we know it’s the same for Alberta businesses,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “With their ongoing mismanagement of the electricity system, the PCs are failing to create the conditions for economic success for Alberta businesses.”

The Fraser Institute report validates a Hydro Quebec report from December that revealed Edmonton and Calgary are paying some of the highest residential and commercial power prices in North America.

Wildrose Electricity Critic Joe Anglin said there’s no reason Alberta businesses should be paying so much for electricity.

“We receive very little on coal royalties and natural gas prices remain low, yet Alberta businesses somehow continue to be gouged on their power bills,” Anglin said. “The fact is the government continues with a reckless overbuild of transmission lines and presiding over a broken marketplace without recognizing there is a problem.”

Wildrose is committed to making policy changes to reduce price spikes and distribution costs and to implement a proactive strategy that would allow Alberta to utilize natural gas, hydro and renewable resources for power generation, resulting in more secure and efficient generation for ratepayers.