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The Alberta Utilities Commission is initiating a consultation to incorporate requirements for emergency billing relief into a new rule to provide predictability and transparency for stakeholders.  

Alberta wildfire season extends from March 1 to October 31. During this period, there are instances when wildfires pose a threat to communities, prompting government to issue mandatory evacuation orders for residents. In previous evacuations such as Fort McMurray, Waterton Lakes and High Level, the AUC proactively coordinated procedures to suspend utility billing for those under evacuation and relieve residents of concerns about electricity and natural gas bills during the crisis. 

In 2023, the AUC created the Emergency Billing Relief Program (EBRP) for the 2023 wildfire season which provided billing relief for residents evacuated from their homes. The program was set out in the 2023 Emergency Billing Relief Program Manual (the 2023 Manual). 

The AUC is seeking stakeholder feedback on the 2023 EBRP as announced in Bulletin 2024-01, to inform potential development of a new rule regarding an emergency billing relief program. A rule would formalize a billing relief process for evacuation orders resulting from emergency events such as wildfires, floods or other natural disasters.  

A Microsoft Word version of the 2023 EBRP has been added to the Consultations Documents section on the right for parties’ ease of reference. 

Provide your feedback

The AUC is seeking feedback on the 2023 EBRP and the potential new rule including the specific questions outlined below. Please provide your responses in a word or PDF document and email your submission to engage@auc.ab.ca. In addition to the questions below, your submissions may include feedback on any element of the EBRP and the potential new rule.

  1. What costs should be eligible for recovery as part of an emergency billing relief program?
  2. What costs should be excluded?
  3. What is the best source of information regarding evacuations?
  4. What considerations exist to extend the 2023 EPRP to emergency events beyond wildfires (e.g. floods or other natural disasters)?

An AUC employee will upload your submission to the Consultation Submissions section on the right-hand side of the page. Your submission will appear on the page within one business day.

Comments regarding the 2023 EBRP and the potential new rule are due on March 19, 2024. The Commission will then review any comments received. If it assesses that a rule is appropriate, it will issue a new rule in due course. 

Questions regarding this consultation can be sent to Laura Johnson