EPCOR Energy 2024-2025 Energy Price-Setting Plan (EPSP) Application and Arguments

In proceeding 28717, EPCOR Energy Alberta GP (EPCOR Energy) submits its 2024-2025 energy price-setting plan application to the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) for review and approval. This price-setting plan is what EPCOR Energy will use to determine the regulated rate option (RRO) charge that it provides to eligible customers in the service areas of EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. and FortisAlberta Inc.[1]



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Micro-Gen Dispute Decision

In proceeding 28319, the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) issues its decision regarding the micro-generation dispute between ATCO Electric Ltd. (ATCO) and a farm. In June of 2023, the farm submitted a micro-generation application to ATCO and ATCO rejected the application on the basis that the generating capacity was too large relative to load. The crux of the disagreement was whether one year of history (ATCO’s position) or five years of history (the farm’s position) was sufficient to predict future load.



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The PBR3 Parameters

In Proceeding 27388, the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) sets the parameters of the third term of performance-based regulation (PBR3) in Alberta, which w ill be applied to the four following electric distribution utilities: ATCO Electric Ltd., FortisAlberta Inc. (Fortis), ENMAX Power Corporation, and EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (EPCOR); and the following two natural gas distribution utilities, ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd. and Apex Utilities Inc. In sum, PBR3 builds upon PBR2 but makes some key changes in how benefits and efficiencies are respectively provided and quantified going forward with the addition of an efficiency sharing mechanism and the removal of the efficiency carryover mechanism.



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Micro-Generation Proposal Dispute

In Proceeding 28139, ATCO Electric Ltd. (ATCO) issued a notice of dispute over whether a micro-generation unit proposed by EvolvSolar meets the generator qualifications outlined in the Micro-Generation Regulation.

EvolvSolar and its client applied to ATCO to construct a solar system that would produce 296,667 kWh per year to power a farm grain drying process. ATCO did not approve the application because the site usage averaged only 204,600 kWh over the past two years (2021 and 2022). The Micro-Generation Regulation defines a micro-generation unit as one intended to meet all or a portion of the site’s annual energy consumption. ATCO, as the wires owner, believes the proposed project does not qualify as a micro-generation unit since it might produce more energy than what is consumed on site.[1]



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Decision on EPCOR’s 2023 System Access Service Rates Update

In Proceeding 28133, the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) issues its decision on the 2023 System Access Service (SAS) Rate Update application of EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (EPCOR). EPCOR had filed an application with the Commission requesting approval to update its 2023 SAS rates effective July 1, 2023. The Commission already approved EPCOR’s 2023 SAS rates in December 2022. However, a week after issuing its decision, the Commission approved the 2023 Independent System Operator (ISO) tariff of the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which included changes to the AESO’s demand transmission service (DTS) rate components. Therefore, EPCOR requested approval to align its SAS rates in accordance with the AESO’s DTS rate components. No additional interveners participated in this proceeding.[1]



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Information Requests in the Residential Standards and Maximum Investment Levels (MILs) Proceeding

In Proceeding 27658, intervenors submit their information requests that address several topics in the standards of service and maximum investment levels (MILs) for residential services proceeding. These information requests fall in line with one or several topics included in the February 2023 issues list. Parties addressed information requests to the following intervenors: the distribution facility owners (DFOs) (ATCO Electric Ltd., ENMAX Power Corporation, EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc., FortisAlberta Inc.), the Developers (Anthem Properties, BILD Alberta, Melcor Developments Ltd.), the Municipalities (Alberta Municipalities, City of Airdrie), the Alberta Federation of Rural Electrification Associations (AFREA), and the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA).



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2024 GCOC Evidence

In proceeding 27084, intervenors submit their evidence regarding the issues list and other matters put forward by the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) concerning the 2024 Generic Cost of Capital (GCOC). The Commission decided that the equity risk premium (ERP) approach for determining return on equity (ROE) is appropriate. The ERP approach is the basis for the one-factor formula previously approved by the Commission in 2009 and the two-factor formula adopted by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). The Commission produced an issues list based on the two-factor approach, which the following formula expresses:

  • ROE (test year) = Notional ROE (VAR1 + VAR3) + Factor One + Factor Two
  • Factor One = VAR4 x (Forecast Long Canada Bond Yield (test year) (VAR2) – Base Forecast Long Canada Bond Yield (VAR1))
  • Factor Two = VAR7 x (Utility Bond Spread (test year) (VAR6) – Base Utility Bond Spread (VAR5))

The Commission’s questions in the issues list mainly ask intervenors to calculate and justify appropriate variables (VAR) for the above equation.



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EPCOR 2023-2025 TFO Tariff Application Evidence

In proceeding 27675, four intervenors on behalf of the Consumers’ Coalition of Alberta (CCA) and the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) submit evidence addressing the 2023-2025 Transmission Facility Owner (TFO) application of EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (EPCOR). The evidence focuses on several issues including operating and maintenance costs, deferral accounts, full-time equivalents (FTEs), and depreciation.



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Commission Decision on Direct Energy’s Energy Price Setting Plan Application

In Proceeding 27562, the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) issues its decision regarding the 2023-2025 Energy Price Setting Plan (EPSP) Application of Direct Energy Regulated Services (Direct Energy). Direct Energy is a regulated rate option (RRO) provider in ATCO Electric Ltd.’s service territory. The EPSP establishes electricity pricing for these RRO customers. Direct Energy proposed EPSP includes nine total changes: six to the confidential procurement protocol and three to other non-confidential provisions of the EPSP. However, after hearing intervenor arguments, Direct Energy’s EPSP is not approved by the Commission, and Direct Energy is to refile the plan after making the necessary changes.[1]



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2023 Maximum Investment Levels Decision

In Proceeding 27658, the Alberta Utilities Commission (the Commission) sets the maximum investment levels (MILs) for 2023 that a distribution facility owner (DFO) can contribute to the cost of connecting a new customer to its system. Therefore, the 2023 MILs for each DFO will be set by escalating the 2022 MILs by a 2.68 percent inflation factor.[1]

2023 Maximum Investment Levels (MILs)

Individual developers are responsible for constructing electric utility infrastructure inside new residential developments within FortisAlberta Inc., ATCO Electric Ltd., and EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc. (the DFOs) service areas. After completing construction, the developer passes infrastructure ownership back to the DFO and receives compensation from the DFO according to the approved MILs. Any costs beyond the MILs fall to the developer.[2]



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