After a record-setting month for electrical rates in August, which saw many residents noticing a significant increase in their electrical bills, September may offer a reprieve for some consumers.

Those who are customers of Direct Energy Regulated Services may see $24 less on their utility bill. According to Direct Energy, the energy rate for September is approximately 11 per cent lower than the energy rate charged last month. In September, Direct Energy will be charging residential consumers 28.88 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

"A typical residential customer consuming 600 kWh per month would see approximately 7 per cent decrease in the total amount of their bill compared to last month," a press release for the company stated. 

ENMAX Energy has also lowered its variable regulated rate option (RRO) for September, setting it at 26.455 cents/kWh, a drop of over five cents in comparison with August. EPCOR Energy's Fortis Service Area will be charging 27.417 cents/kWh, a decrease of nearly 5 cents from last month.

According to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), due to the province announcing the Affordability Action Plan, the utility was capped at a maximum of 13.5 cents per kWh for the months of January 2023 through March 2023.

"Any excess amounts above that ceiling that weren’t collected from customers were included in a deferral account by the provider that will be collected from the provider’s RRO customers during the recovery period of April 2023 to December 2024. The RRO Stability Regulation stipulates that the remaining deferred amount is to be divided by the number of months remaining in the recovery period."

Despite a drop in prices for September, the RRO prices are still high, in comparison with previous years. The rates for September still appear to be the second-highest rates in recent history.

A graphic depicting the electricity rates in recent years. (Graphic credit to Alberta Utilities Commision)A graphic depicting the electricity rates in recent years. (Graphic credit to Alberta Utilities Commission)

The summer surge in electricity rates in the province was noted by Statistics Canada, Consumer Price Index Report which was released earlier this month. According to the report, Alberta's electricity prices in July were one of the key drivers in pushing electrical prices nationwide higher.

The report stated that electricity prices rose at a faster pace year over year in July 2023 (+11.7 per cent) than in June (+5.8 per cent).

"This acceleration was mostly due to a 127.8 per cent increase in Albertan electricity prices, which can be volatile, amid high summer demand. In the early months of the year, when demand was last this high, provincial rebates and a price cap kept prices lower for consumers. These policy interventions were gradually phased out and ended in spring 2023."

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