Alberta Wildfires


The town of High Level and surrounding areas was evacuated due to wildfire on May 20 and was lifted June 3.

The AUC brought together utility distributors and retailers in order to discuss processes that can be implemented to ease the concerns of residential utility customers affected by this mandatory evacuation. The notes from the meeting held on Thursday, May 23, at 1 p.m. are available below under Discussion.

Billing was suspended for residential customers in the mandatory evacuation zone starting on Monday, May 20, 2019. The effective period will be from the date that the mandatory evacuation order was initiated (May 20) until the date the evacuation order was lifted (June 3).




The town of High Level and surrounding areas was evacuated due to wildfire on May 20 and was lifted June 3.

The AUC brought together utility distributors and retailers in order to discuss processes that can be implemented to ease the concerns of residential utility customers affected by this mandatory evacuation. The notes from the meeting held on Thursday, May 23, at 1 p.m. are available below under Discussion.

Billing was suspended for residential customers in the mandatory evacuation zone starting on Monday, May 20, 2019. The effective period will be from the date that the mandatory evacuation order was initiated (May 20) until the date the evacuation order was lifted (June 3).



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    Key discussion points of the stakeholder teleconference meeting on May 23, May 29 and June 4, 2019.

    Billing process

    • Stakeholders agreed to suspend billing for High Level and area residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity and natural gas customers affected by the mandatory evacuation order.
    • The utilities agreed to provide one time credit to the customers during the mandatory evacuation period.
    • Instead of opting for one off-cycle billing followed by an on-cycle billing with one-time credit, the stakeholders preferred sending one bigger on-cycle bill along with one-time credit. It was agreed that one bill with one-time credit...

    Key discussion points of the stakeholder teleconference meeting on May 23, May 29 and June 4, 2019.

    Billing process

    • Stakeholders agreed to suspend billing for High Level and area residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity and natural gas customers affected by the mandatory evacuation order.
    • The utilities agreed to provide one time credit to the customers during the mandatory evacuation period.
    • Instead of opting for one off-cycle billing followed by an on-cycle billing with one-time credit, the stakeholders preferred sending one bigger on-cycle bill along with one-time credit. It was agreed that one bill with one-time credit will be easier for the customers to understand instead of two smaller bills.
    • The mandatory evacuation order was lifted on June 3, 2019 at 10: 00 a.m. One time credit will be from the period May 20 to June 3, 2019, while the billing will resume as of June 4, 2019.
    • ATCO Electric and AltaGas Utilities to provide updated list of the evacuated sites to the retailers.
    • Energization and de-energization were suspended during the mandatory evacuation period, however, enrolment and de-enrolment continued during that period.

    Communication process

    • Stakeholders indicated using email, social media and letters to communicate with the customers regarding bill suspension and one time credit for the mandatory evacuation period.
    • The Utilities Coalition of Alberta confirmed that it has a section on its website which links to the Government of Alberta emergency alert page of High Level wildfire which provides explanation on suspension of billing to the customers during the mandatory evacuation period.
    • Referring to the past wild fires in Alberta, the AUC staff indicated that customers care agents of some utilities were not aware of the sites not being billed during the mandatory evacuation period. The utilities agreed to flag the affected customer sites and also communicate the same to the customer care agents.
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